Nowadays, informal vibrant markets have unlimited opportunities to share their products and services through township tourism in sharing real South African stories and experiences, making their brand more authentic through engagement. The selling of African cuisines from townships is some of the most lucrative businesses ideas that have since moved to more virtual ways of providing their food through delivery. Take Inyama Yenhloko (Sheep’s head meat) which is one of the townships most admired meat choice in different informal areas. This meal is best enjoyed late Friday or Sunday morning and also said to deal with hangover or to prepare your taste buds said by community members.
Township Tourism is seen as a debatable topic but has a business opportunity for sharing diverse African cultures and cuisines with tourists from International countries. South Africa is the land of diversity with its different cultures, history and landscapes where developing township businesses is an enabler for massive opportunity in not only bridging the gap of the total employment in this country but contributing to the overall South African tourism.
Before even considering South African tourism as a potential platform in these businesses reaching an international market in the long run, a mere focus on locals having access is an issue on its own. Most business owners supply high class restaurants to best cater for both local community people and those from outside informal settlements, but not everyone is willing to drive out of their way just to go sit at a restaurant and eat. Most consumers are just want the preparation of certain dishes at their disposal without all the hard labour in getting certain dishes.
Inyama yenhloko (Sheep’s head meat) is one of Kasi’s most admired meat in the township. This meal is best enjoyed late Friday or Sunday morning to deal with hangover or to prepare your taste buds for an old beer. The meat is delicious, very tender and is an all-time meat choice for men in communities especially during family gatherings.
In the past it was said that men who to slaughter a cow, the head of the cow was only for men and not women and children but nowadays women also indulge in ox head as it is inexpensive than other meat choices and tastier. This thus proves that African cuisine such as sheep head only have a market for old men but potential for a bigger multigenerational market.
A lot of young people in townships love inyama yenhloko and some have already started their own businesses selling the meat and adding their own twist to it. Inyama yenhloko (sheep head meat) is best served with uphuthu and umhluzi (soup) and viewed as a signature dish in townships and of course they throw always in your choice of chili powder or chili sauce. Majority of people enjoy it but not many want to deal with getting it and cooking it. People from the suburbs always come for inyama yenhloko because it has an acquired taste and is an all-time favorite amongst black communities.
Inyama Yenhloko being a huge hassle to prepare and also not easily accessible those living outside of township areas makes it harder for business owners to make ends meet if people are not willing to drive out. Well known apps catering to this issue, such as “Order Kasi”, have bridged that gap by offering food preparations and delivery services, based off the Kasi restaurants customers select from on the app. This innovative business idea allowed for local township restaurant owners to gain the necessary access and reach to a larger market as most customers from outside of township areas do indeed seek their favorite cuisine but do not have the time nor access to make a purchase.
Most local restaurant owners also utilize the tool of “township influencers” to attract the numbers and impact the path-to-purchase through getting the right community influencer to market the business but ultimately the next best thing is virtual shopping through apps. Virtual shopping is not only convenient for consumers
Even though the over-saturation of certain sectors have made it harder for these informal businesses to reach success, virtual shopping and brand influencers could give rise to the next million-rand enterprise.