From humble beginnings Tornado’s Food and Drink has over the years grown into a flourishing business with the assistance of Bank Windhoek’s Emerging Small to Medium Enterprise (ESME) department.
Annabel Berger, who co-owns Tornado’s with her husband, says since the age of 13 she has always had a passion for the hospitality industry. “I went to Germany for 18 years, where I gained immense experience in the food and hospitality industry. On my return I looked out for opportunities to open my own restaurant,” said Berger.
After acquiring space at Wernhil Shopping Centre her dream became a reality. This was Berger’s first venture into business. “I approached Bank Windhoek, which is also my private bank. I’ve always been happy with the services offered at Bank Windhoek and they have helped groom my business to where it is today,” said Berger.
“We started four and half years ago. Namibia is special so we started this restaurant and we decided that we are not going to have fancy things. We want every Namibian, especially the students who do not have a lot of money, to afford the restaurant, to afford to go out to, to afford to relax a bit.”
Over the years Tornado’s has grown its staff component from six to the current 18 employees.
According to Berger the basic concept is simply to make people feel at home (at home away from home) where clients can come, even just for cup of cocoa and to relax.
“I’m very flexible, meaning when you come in here twice and the third time you come to me and something that you want to eat is not on our menu, I will make sure that I get it for you and I think this why we are successful, because we go the extra mile,” she said.
Berger said that the current economic situation in Namibia does have a direct impact on her business. She is, however, not swayed by it. “This is a challenge we all face and we address it by looking at how to better serve our customers with our offering,” Berger said.
On advice for budding entrepreneurs Berger said: “My advice is that whatever you do, believe in yourself. Convince the bank that this is what you want and that you have what it takes to make it a success. This is a long process, but never give up,” Berger said.
“Tornado’s is one of our success stories. Berger really took ownership of her dream and was prepared to do what was necessary to make it a success, said” MboLuvindao branch manager of ESME Finance Branch at Bank Windhoek.