Sipping On Success: Aperitif And Yoco

28th November 2023

Aperitif – the latest offering from Pizza Shed’s James Williams, Tando Bavuma, and Emma-Jane Fuller – is wooing Capetonians one *chef’s kiss* Aperol Spritz at a time.

The numbers

2 brands

3 locations

8 000 customers served monthly 

50 staff members

Despite opening its doors a few short months ago, patrons are eagerly embracing the art of unwinding in a refreshingly (yes, that was intentional) unpretentious setting. (A view of Lion’s Head and easy access to Cape Town’s nightlife don’t hurt either.) Designed around the beloved Italian custom of aperitivo – the daily Italian ritual centred around good friends and even better drinks – the new kid on the block has already become a favourite fixture on the buzzing Bree Street strip.

We sat down with James to learn about the story behind Aperitif, and what prepping for the busiest time of year looks like.

“Aperitif is a natural extension of the Pizza Shed experience: a place where people can come and enjoy a relaxed and authentic Italian dining experience, so it made perfect sense to introduce patrons to another integral part of Italian culture. When a space a few metres down the road [from Pizza Shed in Bree Street] opened up, we jumped at the chance.”

The runaway success of the business is the culmination of tenacity, an unwavering belief in their product, and making use of smart tools designed to streamline and simplify the payment process.

From in-person payments to online orders, Pizza Shed and Aperitif use Yoco to help them to make the most out of festive sales.

Before (more) tourists arrive and locals emerge from their months-long hibernation, it’s all systems go as the team gears up for festive season.

“Prepping for the holiday season is ultimately about maximising revenue by increasing efficiency. Yoco plays a big part in helping us to get this right.”

Providing a memorable customer experience when things become frenetic relies on strategically planning ahead. With several successful peak seasons under their belt, James and Tando have landed on a recipe for success.

The Aperitif and Pizza Shed Summer Season Prep List:

1. Hiring and training a contingent of seasonal staff

Making the most of burgeoning summer trade calls for all hands on deck. Once they’re on board, the focus turns to thoroughly training new hires. There’s no time for fumbling or forgetting orders – every single employee, from runners and waitrons to kitchen staff, needs to be able to accurately represent the essence of the offering.

2. Adding additional card machines into the mix

A sizable contingent of seasonal staff – the majority of whom are customer-facing – need easy and quick access to a card machine. And so, to the Yoco store it is! With large sales volumes on the line, waiting for a card machine to be delivered or activated is not an option.

“Yoco provides us with crucial flexibility: if we suddenly need three more payment terminals today, we can go and buy them today. Plus, you can facilitate those payments on the fly, which is incredibly valuable to us. It's one of the reasons why we choose Yoco over the more traditional providers which typically involve long waits, reams of paperwork, and losing out on sales.”

3. Stocking up on the basics

Forget fancy cocktails or delicious fare: without adequate cutlery, crockery, or glassware,  a patron’s experience is over before it’s even begun

“It sounds obvious, but I think it’s really easy to get caught up in ‘big picture thinking’. If a patron has to ask for something as basic as a fork or a napkin, that’s going to completely overshadow the drinks and the food. We’ve learnt that you will always need more than you think.”

4. Rethinking the layout of the space

A large portion of successfully catering to an influx of patrons relies on creatively thinking up ways to serve more people in the same amount of space.

“The ability to think on your feet plays a big part in making the most out of a sticky situation. We’ll find extra chairs and tables and move things around, changing up the layout to accommodate more customers. The impact of these seemingly small changes can turn what could have been a frustrating customer experience into a great one.”

Don’t take our word for it –  if you call Cape Town your home, head on over to Aperitif on Bree Street for their spin on the classics. When hunger calls, hop on over to the neighbouring Pizza Shed (or, take a short trip to the impressive Observatory branch – but only if you’ve been sipping on Aperitif’s non-alcoholic but equally delicious mocktails.)

From in-person payments to online orders, Pizza Shed and Aperitif use Yoco to help them to make the most out of festive sales.

Khumo and Neo Touch(the main stars of the show) for in-store transactions 

Khumo Printfor in-store transactions

Yoco Linkpizza delivery orders via WhatsApp 

Shopify Payment Gatewaypizza delivery orders via the Pizza Shed online store

The Yoco Appquick insights into the day’s trade

Yoco Capitalpast upgrades and purchasing of equipment for both branches Pizza Shed