In honour of Pappas restaurant’s 20th anniversary, we chatted to the hit eatery’s co-owner Evros Pappas about family, location and favourite dishes.
What is the Pappas brand all about?
The Pappas brand is about quality, value, innovation and hospitality. What stands out is our time here (20 years at the Nelson Mandela Square). It has become a special place for young and old.
How has being a family-run business impacted Pappas’ success? What goes into the job?
That personal touch, genuine hospitality and getting the feeling that you are welcomed into somebody’s home every time you visit us. A love of what you do is essential in the restaurant business. So is a passion for food, a love of people and strong nerves for the tough days.
What is an average day at Pappas like?
No two days are the same in the restaurant business, however we focus most of our days on communicating our vision to our staff, delivering high-quality products and services and engaging with as many patrons and potential patrons as we can.
How has the restaurant developed over the 20 years, and what’s stayed the same?
Technology has made a huge impact. Obviously this has helped improve our business processes.Our core values never change. We remain committed to quality food and service and unrivalled hospitality.
So many places open and close after a few years. What does it take to remain successful for two decades?
Staying true to your core values. Maintaining your love for the industry. Investing in the people who help make this business a success. This translates into continued and long-term customer satisfaction.
How has the location of the restaurant (the Nelson Mandela Square/Sandton) contributed to its success?
Nelson Mandela Square is South Africa’s premier location, be it for business or pleasure. We’ve had the privilege of being part of the positive impact of this during our time here and strive every day to make this location shine. A location like this is one that all restauranteurs should aspire to. We always believed we could contribute to the success of the Nelson Mandela Square and hope that we continue to do so.
How has the Pappas menu been put together?
When one looks at our menu they will notice the legacy of our past as well as fresh innovation. We revise our menu and wine list every six months. This keeps our customers enticed with fresh new options but at the same time respecting our classics.
What are some of your favourite dishes?
Our signature dish is our famous Kleftiko. Every Greek family has their special recipe. This is ours. And then there are our prawns, which are served in our unique lemon butter sauce in copper pans. Our way ensures each and every prawn is delicious. There’s also our vegetarian moussaka, which is very special, staying true to the tradition of this classic dish.
What’s your regular order when you eat at the restaurant?
Of late I am enjoying our grilled octopus. It is a unique flavour and our customers love it as well. I also tend to order a lot of steaks. Could our 300g sirloin be my favourite? Maybe.
What’s the best part about operating and living in Jo’burg?
Jo’burg is the hub of the nation. The people, being a part of the hustle and bustle of this city is incredible. Other than the great weather and the world’s friendliest people, this is our home… and there truly is no other place like it.