Joburg-based Acid Food and Wine Bar, owned by sommelier Jemma Styer, and chef Jes Doveton, has carved a name for itself as the go-to destination for those looking for a unique take on the traditional wine bar fare.
Featuring ingredients from local suppliers and independent, small-scale wine labels, Acid offers a curated, ever-evolving gastronomic experience. The relaxed, unpretentious setting, coupled with delicious fare has earned Acid write-ups in The New York Times and Woolworth’s Taste magazine (not to mention a cult following).
Here, Jemma talks us through what a typical day as the co-owner of Acid entails, and how the restaurant makes use of Yoco payment tools to do business better:
I start the day fighting my alarm clock. I try to make sure I have breakfast before the chaos kicks off – otherwise, the next thing I know it’s 8 pm and I haven’t eaten.
Once we’re up, Jes and I will set off to fetch whatever stock we need for the day. The menu is always changing depending on what’s available from our local suppliers so there are a lot of little stops along the way.
10 am: Jes and I arrive at the restaurant
We’ll sit down and do admin for the first few hours of the day so that we’re set up for before things kick off.
2 pm: The staff arrive, Jes heads into the kitchen, and I get behind the bar
This is when we do all the little extra bits and pieces – Jes might throw a couple of new dishes together if there’s stuff that’s not available on the day. If I get new wines, I’ll change those up. Depending on what we’re serving that day, we might do a little pow-wow or some quick training with the staff. If I haven’t managed to have breakfast, I’ll throw a quick noodle situation together to avoid getting hangry later on in the evening.
5 pm: We open our doors, ready to welcome our first patrons
Most of the time I’m in the bar myself or on the floor, chatting to people and getting a feel for how they are and what they expect from their time here. I feel like the best way of getting feedback from people is directly because you can get an understanding of your business from the ground, so to speak.
Throughout the shift: Staff process payments via multiple Khumo card machines The fact that we can have multiple machines running at the same time is brilliant. I love how flexible the Khumo is in terms of functionality: we can run the restaurant, we can run our events, if we need to add tickets we can do that, and if we need to add payment links we can do that. It’s really an all-in-one mini point-of-sale machine and a card machine at the same time. Plus we can add all of our products onto there. They’re great.
11 pm: We finish up and head for home
By the time we get home, it’s midnight. I try to spend a little bit of time outside in the garden getting some fresh air to decompress, or if I’m up to it, I’ll read for half an hour. Then it’s lights out so we can do it all again the next day!
One of the ways in which Jemma and Jes have been able to grow their business while remaining true to their vision is by making use of Yoco Capital
When we first started, we came up with a little mind map that details what we stand for, what we want to do, and where we are going. We’re always circling back to that to make sure that we’re sticking to our brand ethos.
"Yoco Capital has given us peace of mind, knowing we’re able to honour our vision".
It’s allowed us to deliver on our vision for the brand when we’re in a tight spot. I love that it’s really easy to use and flexible For a small business, having flexible terms is incredibly helpful. Yoco is always ready to help us out, which adds to the sense that someone has got your back. Our experience with Yoco Capital has been a great one.