Mama’s Meatballs, VIC

The Future Of Luxury Fast-Food

Mama’s Meatballs led the way in the Australian market to turn the beloved home-cooked specialty into a commercial takeaway prospect. 

Meatballs: a much-loved staple of great home cooking. But, up until several years ago, a food item never sold in a commercial outlet. Melbourne businessman Zoran Radovanovic saw an opening in the market, and with the help of Silver Chef, made his move.

As work hours get longer and the family dinner becomes a last-minute prospect, the ‘fast food’ industry is making a healthy upgrade from takeaway chains to wholesome, homemade, and nutritious food that can be purchased and prepared quickly. New additions to the market appear regularly, with everything from pasta bars to DIY salads moving into mass market. Mama’s Meatballs joins the fast food trade with a unique offering that is delicious, easy to prepare, and loved by kids and parents alike.

So how did such a clever concept make the move from idea to reality? 

Zoran Radovanovic laughs at the question - a former engineer of 25 years, you could call this first attempt in the food + beverage industry beginners luck. However, it wasn’t without a solid plan. After witnessing the success of fellow restaurant ‘Meatball and Wine Bar’ in Melbourne’s CBD, Zoran wondered what would happen if he removed the trade aspect of the product, and turned it into a takeaway stall. No tables, no service, just good meatballs on the go.

With working parents and young singles in mind; Zoran started to lay down the foundations for Mama’s Meatballs - however soon realised the upfront cash needed for the equipment was going to be too great. Enter Silver Chef. 

This is our first foray into the food business and Silver Chef are so easy to deal with!

And, as expected, the equipment required to establish a high-quantity, fast turnaround product like meatballs was extensive. Here is just a selection of the machinery Zoran rents through Silver Chef to get his business off the ground:

  • Robot Coupe Vegetable Preparation machine
  • Custom Albany 2 Door Refrigerator
  • Sammic Vacuum Packing Machine
  • Roband 6 Slice Grill Station
  • Thermosat 7L Food Warmer
  • Unox Cheftop 3 Tray Combi Oven
  • Unox Slow Top 5 Tray Holding Cabinet.

Zoran’s top performing items are his Unox ovens, which allow large quantities of his famous meatballs to be made and warmed in large batches, particularly during busy runs during the working week.
For Mama’s Meatballs, working with Silver Chef is a great introduction to the notoriously unforgiving hospitality industry.
“And Silver Chef are so easy to deal with. We like the flexibility of options that are available, because as first-timers we really didn’t how it was going to pan out.”
Now that things are going well, Zoran has been able to commit to a long-term plan with Silver Chef.
He has now moved almost all of his equipment to Silver Chef’s long-term ownership product, Easy Own.
Zoran wants to own the equipment, but doesn't want to spend his much needed cash paying it out, or risk affecting his cash flow. So through the Easy Own solution, Zoran gets to enjoy a 30% weekly discount on his rent, and will own the equipment for an agreed amount at the end of the 36 month term.
For Zoran, business is booming, with meatballs proving a popular item for Melbourne families. Mama’s Meatballs is going so well, in fact, they are now being stocked in a Toorak fine foods store - with plans to stock the product nationally. So within just a short time of business, Zoran is already leaping into commercial production: does that scare him?
Again, Zoran laughs - “We’re just going to see how it goes,” he says, “but it's comforting to know with Silver Chef the flexibility to change and grow with us is there.”

Zoran Radovanovic
Mamas Meatballs, VIC

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