MASSIMO'S SERVES UP A TASTE OF HOPE DURING LOCKDOWN
Hout Bay-based pizzeria and Capitec Merchant, Massimo’s, has driven Pay It Forward schemes to support local charities throughout the lockdown.
While navigating South Africa’s national lockdown has been challenging for many restaurant chains, Hout Bay local Massimo’s founded by Massimo and Tracy Orione, has stepped forward to assist other local enterprises and charities during this time.
Voted as offering the Best Pizza in Africa by 50 Top Pizza, Massimo’s is a fully Italian restaurant. As Tracy describes, “we came to South Africa in 2003 on holiday, and we really fell in love with the country and with the people; so we decided that Hout Bay was a great place to live and bring our business to.”
Massimo’s serves up delicious and authentic meals which, as Tracy elaborates, are made from scratch. However, the national lockdown proved challenging for the couple as restaurants remained closed until takeaways and deliveries were allowed in late May.
As Massimo says, however, “we realised that it wasn’t enough to survive. We had to think out of the box – and the idea came out of frozen pizzas.” Today, the couple have plans to expand their frozen pizza business into a larger enterprise.
Massimo’s is also well-known for its proud support of local charities.
“When we came back from Italy in 2013 after Massimo had a bone marrow transplant, we saw a business in such a different way. So, we created a scheme called Pay It Forward, where people could add R10 extra to their bill, which represented one slice of pizza; and each time people add to that, we end up with lots of pizzas in the bank so we can give back to charity,” says Tracy.
“In addition to that, we also have 10 different charities that we support, so if we sell pasta,: we give R5 to The Sunflower Fund – if we sell A FROZEN pizza, we give R1 to DARG, our local dog shelter,” Massimo adds.
“Massimo’s are the most incredible individuals – they help us considerably over lockdown, says Faustina Gardner, Managing Director at DARG. “When people go to Massimo’s restaurant, it’s really important to know what they’ve done from the goodness of their heart, and it hasn’t been for accolades or any other reason than that they are just incredibly caring people.”
As Capitec Merchants, Massimo and Tracey combine their business savvy and charitable innovations with Capitec’s full support. Capitec offers point-of-sale payment solutions suited to businesses ready to take their next step forward and empowers new merchants with free access to the Capitec Merchant Portal, where they can seek assistance with transactional and settlement queries.
Capitec Merchants also benefit from benefit from personal aftersales service, competitive fees, free installation and training in how to manage their card machine, as well as 24/7 merchant support and free fraud-prevention training and fraud detection services.
“We have been with Capitec for about 4-5 years, and we are very happy; their support is great,” says Tracy. “We’ve found that Capitec have always offered us a really competitive rate for transactions as well as the rental for their machines. They’re always really helpful and supportive if you have any issues.”
For Massimo, Tracy, and their talented staff, the opportunity to work, play, and make an impact is central to their philosophy.
As Zukelwa Joloza, waitress at Massimo’s, offers, “It’s an experience – it’s more than just coming to work and going home; because each and every day, it doesn’t get boring – ever!”