It is a lucrative business with quick returns- vendor
The latest booming business to hit Gaborone streets and surrounding areas is the braaied chicken feet, necks and gizzards frenzy, delicacies most city people have grown to love.
This business is now taking over from braaied steak and is a common snack for people on the go. According to one street vendor and braai master who trades at the Gaborone bus rank, Tsheko Molatedi, the trend of braaing chicken feet can be traced back to South African townships where the culture of cooking township delicacies is rife.
“As a business minded person, you are always under a lot of pressure to come up with a unique business concept that will also bring back returns. I remember visiting the township of Soweto and I saw how people appreciated locally grown concepts. I was inspired and have since decided to do the same in Gaborone,” said Molatedi who says he has been struggling to find a source of income to feed his family.
Molatedi now grills chicken feet and gizzards daily selling feet or “runaways” as they are commonly called and gizzard for P1 a piece, a price that brings in double the amount of the original cost of each “runaway” at the wholesaler. He barbecues about 350 chicken feet and 200 gizzards a day and admits that the business is lucrative as it brings in good returns. “Batswana have always loved the idea of snacking on chicken feet, necks and gizzards and they are quickly warming up to the idea of the barbecuing version as they are used to steaming them. On a daily basis one customer can return twice or three times for the same treat, now you can imagine how much these food is consumed,” he revealed.
When asked how he handles the mushrooming of similar business concepts and facing stiff competition, Molatedi said at times competition is good for business, “Imagine if I was the only one doing this, I would relax and not look for better ways to best serve my customers and create variety. Competitors keep me on my feet because when the sun sets on weekends I carry my braai stand to the nearby hangout spots to sell my delicacies,” he said.
Explaining how he prepared the chicken feet, necks and gizzards, he revealed that he submerges them in boiling water to remove remaining layers of skins. They are then covered in seasoning including salt, chicken spice, pepper and some with chilli before they are braaied. “Chicken feet are my best sellers because of their crunchy texture and unique flavour. Most people prefer eating them on their own as a quick snack but they can also be paired with pap,” he revealed.