Calling all food and meat lovers alike! If you’re a true foodie then you will have heard of the restaurant chain called, Moo Moo, which aims to fill the ‘meat-lover’s gap’ in more ways than one.
The Moo Moo concept was brought to life by three restauranteurs who were bored to tears by the ʻ’meat marketʼ that surrounded them. One identical steakhouse after the other. Stiff, pretentious and overtly masculine. The gap in the market was too obvious to ignore. So they teamed up with some of the best designers and branding minds that South Africa had to offer. Together they developed a concept that would break the mould and change the face of the steakhouse.
They have broken the mould when it comes to the traditional steakhouse.
Their quirky personality is reflected in everything from the overtly tongue-in-cheek humour to the various touches like MooGazine menus, cows Mooing in the ‘Outhouse’ toilets & grass on the tables.
The stores are modern & trendy without being presumptuous or too serious – that’s the Moo Moo promise!
We caught up Jimmy Eracleous who plays a vital role in the brands success at two of their branches, Mall of Africa and Menlyn, and found out more about this exciting brand.
Before we continue, you should also take a look at more of exciting malls in Johannesburg.
When was Moo Moo established and how did you become involved with the brand as a Manager of two branches?
The First store originated in 2008 in Brooklyn Pretoria. The store operated as an independent restaurant for many years until one of the owners, a good friend of mine, approached me enquiring whether I would have an interest in growing the brand with them.
In 2016, the second Moo Moo Store was born in Menlyn Park Shopping Centre which at that time biggest super regional mall in South Africa. I gave up my career as a financial markets trader and joined the group as the operating partner of the second store.
As a businessman and manager, where do you draw inspiration from?
In this ever-changing environment, I find inspirations in different forms all around me.
My day starts out with a gym workout in a class environment. The gym is a place where I am surrounded by different types of people, some healthy and some battling with illness, some young and others old etc, but each has a unique story and this environment allows to always produce positive results. I am inspired by the people that I train with and when I see individuals reach an achievement they have never managed before, it is stimulating.
I listen to a lot of podcast, the likes of TEDx, Tim Ferris and The Moth to name a few and these are always inspiring. In addition to this, I like to catch up on biographies of sports people, celebrities and business people. A pattern of hard work and overcoming adversity seems to be the common theme.
And lastly my family are a big inspiration for me by either giving me a purpose or by setting a great example to follow.
Who would you describe as the perfect Moo Moo customer?
We South Africans love meat and therefore, the Moo Moo Menu is targeted to satisfy the good ol’ South African palette. At Moo Moo we offer a great quality product at an affordable price in a casual setting. The perfect customer is the guy that loves his meat and at the competitive price he is able to visit us on a weekly basis.
We also attract foreign tourists to our stores as Moo Moo is the perfect place to showcase the Best South African Meat and Wine.
What makes Moo Moo unique to the customer?
There are many aspects that will draw customers to Moo Moo. Meat and Wine or Meet and Whine or Both!
Firstly the Meat is carefully sourced and matured at our Central Butchery where it is graded and portioned. In addition to this the butcher is responsible for making our famous Burger Patties. With no artificial ingredients added, our patties compete with the best homemade recipes out there.
All wines on the menu are sold by the glass, and the price of 4 glasses is the same as the price of a bottle (first restaurant to do this). This is convenient for the customer, as a couple who drinks a bottle of wine and would like another glass, can do so without feeling like they are being ripped off (and the option is available to them.)
Whine hour between 4:30 and 5:30 everyday – for every glass of wine ordered, the customer receives a complimentary glass from us (T&C’s apply). People like to sit and wine with us while their peers sit and whine in the traffic.
All our sides are sold separately and this is not a trap but rather a nice option to allow the customer to tailor their meal to suit their taste buds as well as to accommodate their pocket.
What would you say in your opinion is your speciality?
I always like to ask my patrons if it is their first visit. And if it is, I like to recommend, any of our tender steaks which we mature ourselves, a burger with a delicious 200g homemade patty, alternatively a Chicken Espetada which is made up of soft juicy chicken thighs skewered and dripping in garlic butter or lastly our legendary sticky pork ribs which customers will travel for miles to come and enjoy.
From the above selection there is something for everyone, and I am convinced that when they leave the store they will definitely be satisfied and well impressed. If a new customer eats one of these dishes I know the probability of them returning is high – and this is how we convert first time visitors into regulars!
How does Moo Moo aim to fill the ‘meat-lover’s gap’?
We would like to bring the best quality product at a reasonable and affordable price. We feel we fill the gap between the cheaper franchised options, bringing a more sophisticated taste in a mature environment without having the stiffness and costly price points of high-end steakhouse.
Your steakhouses boast fun and quirky decor – what was the inspiration behind this?
We like to eat and we like to have fun. We do NOT take ourselves too seriously and we would like to bring this theme to our customers.
What is a must-try at Moo Moo’s?
A Cow Chow! It is like a bunny chow , also a proudly south African dish but with a slight Moo Moo twist. We take a crispy Portuguese bun, hollow it out creating a little bowl which is then filled with either peri peri beef strips, chicken strips or even chicken livers. Alternatively you can have creamy garlic snails or a Phillly steak which is a combo of onions cheese and tender beef.
How does Moo Moo’s stay on top of trends in an ever growing competitive market?
Moo Moo HQ is made up of a team of foodies who have accumulated more than 50 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and who like to travel, socialise and dine out .
Amongst the crowd, you will find an It specialist, a horse-rider with a keen interest in photographer, a former trendy nightclub owner and DJ, as well as a successful catering expert…there may be some personalities that I may have missed here. This array of characters bring many different aspects of the contemporary arena into the Moo Moo Dining experience.
If Moo Moo’s tickles your fancy, be sure to pop down to either the Menlyn or Mall of Africa branch and dig in to some of their delicious grub!
Feature image: Supplied
Issued by KDT Communications