The Rib House owner Kurt Jacks quickly learned that operating a family-run restaurant costs more money and time than he expected. After having trouble securing assistance through traditional lenders, Kurt found a Prospa Small Business Loan to dish up the vital support he and his family needed to grow the business.
Southern style ribs in Auckland
Kurt Jacks wanted to bring authentic Southern style ribs to the people of New Zealand. So, he and his family opened The Rib House, a family-friendly eatery in the southeast Auckland suburb of Pakuranga.
And while Kurt might be the owner of The Rib House, he says his wife Althea is the boss. They work alongside their two sons and daughter to cook up barbecue food for customers six days a week.
The challenges of running a restaurant
No matter how carefully crafted the budget, finding the resources to fund the equipment, ingredients, and other overheads and improvements associated with opening a new restaurant can be tough.
“We found that when you start a small business, it sucks a lot of money, more than we anticipated,” he says. “So, we needed a bit of help.”
In addition to a lack of capital, another thing the Jacks family didn’t have was time to waste. Restauranteurs put in plenty of hard yards outside of opening hours, cleaning and prepping for the next day’s rush. That leaves precious few hours for administration.
“Time is the most challenging thing,” he says about running a new restaurant. “We seem to run out of time.”
Kurt needed a small business loan, but the challenges involved with applying for a loan with traditional lenders meant his menu of options was dwindling.
But that all changed when Kurt saw an online ad for Prospa.
Easing the stress with a small business loan
Kurt decided to give Prospa a try. He quickly found it was the missing ingredient in his recipe for success.
“We went online and put our application through, and we got a call the same day,” Kurt says. “Tristan was his name, and he was awesome.”
Tristan, a Prospa Senior Loan Consultant, explained the options available to Kurt and his family. The Rib House owner realised a Prospa Small Business Loan was precisely what he needed to take his restaurant to the next level, with a simplified and streamlined application process.
“The feature I like the most was the ease with which the whole transaction went through. It was just smooth; it was just easy.”
What’s next for The Rib House?
The funds from Prospa were immediately put to good use, doing necessary upgrades and renovations in the kitchen.
“I would definitely recommend Prospa to my friends and family, and I already have.”
Whether it’s growing your business, funding an opportunity or just covering cash flow, find out how Prospa can help. Talk to one of our business lending specialists on 0800 005 797 to discuss your options, or find out more.
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Megan Stenning is the owner and operator of New Zealand Naturals in Airlie Beach. Here she shares the highlights and challenges of her small business journey, and how she learnt that ultimately – it was all worth it.
Megan and her partner Mark, originally from New Zealand, fell in love with Airlie Beach after spending a week there on holiday. Returning to New Zealand, they decided to dream big, and with no previous experience as business owners contacted New Zealand Naturals about the possibility of establishing a shop in the small beach side town.
Growing a team
In 2011, New Zealand Naturals Airlie Beach opened its doors for the first time. Seven years on you can still find Megan, Mark and the team – one senior, five school students, and ‘Richie (the) Macaw’ – serving up ice-cream, fresh juice and desserts any day of the week to locals and tourists alike.
A key driver of Megan and Mark’s business is passion for growth and sharing their product. Megan explains how they have always had pride in the brand, saying “I love watching peoples’ faces when they taste it [New Zealand Naturals ice cream] for the first time. OMG is generally the reaction.”
But Megan and Mark provide more than simply ice-cream to the Airlie Beach community. Megan says, “We love meeting all walks of life… and tell our customers where the best places are to eat and go for coffee, activities to try, that sort of thing. The next day they’ll always tell us “That was fantastic”.
With great power comes great responsibility
Megan believes that the best part about being a business owner is not having a boss, but cheekily admits that she tells Mark what to do from time to time. However, like all business owners, there’s sacrifice. Megan admits, “Mark and I haven’t had a holiday together in years, as someone always has to stay and mind the shop.
Their list of responsibilities is endless, and if one of them is at the shop, the other will be doing paperwork. They also need to be prepared to cover a shift at short notice.
When Cyclone Debbie hit in 2017, it had a serious impact on the business and its locals surrounds, with trade impacted hugely in the months following. Megan explains, “Things were hard up here. Where we are [the shop] was all boarded up to redo the roof, and trade remained down 85% for eight weeks. We were under insured for such an event.”
Megan’s Prospa experience
After seeing an ad for Prospa on TV Megan called the customer service team. The application process was simple, and provided her with a link for submitting bank statements, which she did that same day. The money was in her bank account less than 24 hours later. Megan admits, “I wasn’t expecting it to be so easy.”
Megan goes on to explain how cash-flow friendly her daily repayment plan is, and says she would definitely recommend a Prospa small business loan: “It’s paid [direct debit] first thing every morning… It doesn’t hurt my business because it’s small daily amounts.”
Prospa was there, at the right place and in a moment of need.
What’s next for Megan, Mark and the business?
Megan and Mark continue to rebuild the business after the cyclone. They’ve acquired an ice-cream cart as a strategy to bring in new sales, and plan to take ice cream to local markets and sports matches.
After the business, Megan and Mark would like to travel around Australia for a year to see the places they’ve heard so much about from their customers.
If you find yourself in Airlie Beach, pop into New Zealand Naturals to visit Megan, Mark, ‘Richie (the) Macaw’ and the rest of the team to pick up a scoop of the irresistible ice-cream.
When opportunity knocks for small businesses, there’s a range of new choices for raising funds. Prospa can help you access the funds to manage cash flow or take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Talk to our team on 0800 005 797.