CASE STUDY
Pineapple Express, QLD

Trendy Brisbane Eatery Pineapple Express Takes Modern Approach To Hospitality

Pineapple Express are onto a good thing.

The Brisbane eatery are a cafe with “...a special emphasis on superfoods, and everything that is ‘good for your insides’”. An on-trend concept based out of an even trendier location - the booming Portside precinct - it is hard to imagine this concept ever doing poorly. Cleverly leveraging the current paleo, vegan, and exotic food trend sweeping the Australian food and beverage industry, this small cafe is attracting big attention.

Some people are made for hospitality. And listening to 34-year-old owner and director of Pineapple Express Leigh Metzeling talk about his experience, you can tell that he’s one of those guys. His CV reads like a dream in hospitality management. This guy has literally covered all territory. 

He started out taking ‘hospitality’ as a vocational subject during his school year, before moving on to a chef’s apprenticeship at The Hilton, eventually switching to a degree in Hotel Management (““It was too intense in the kitchen!”). And thrown in just for good measure? A tertiary BA in Business, Advertising and Marketing.

From scrubbing pots to scribbling slogans, Leigh knows the hospitality industry inside out. “You get to know what works in the business,” laughs Leigh. “You get to know what areas to put together. You’ve got the cogs - like the kitchen, the stock, the equipment - and then the front of house, which is the people.” 

But for hospitality veteran Leigh, the Silver Chef solution was a recent discovery.

Leigh is still happily surprised at what an excellent business partner they have made. “It would have been so tough without Silver Chef,” says Leigh. “It’s a total ease of burden, and made the equipment side of things so easy.”

Leigh is one of five directors in the Pineapple Express cafe, and also runs two other venues - Capulet bar in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, and SASS Management on the Gold Coast. A smart investor with plenty of experience, he had no trouble launching his business through traditional methods. With a strong business history, he was approved for a traditional bank loan from the start.

It would have been so tough without Silver Chef. It’s a total ease of burden, and made the equipment side of things so easy.

Along with the bank loan, Pineapple Express also got a kick-start from the partner’s private savings to cover the purchase and building costs. But when it came to the fit out of the equipment, they were looking for a more innovative solution than simply shelling out their own cash. It was then that their building team, Tu Projects Brisbane, told Leigh about the Silver Chef offer. Not just a perfect lender for those looking to start their own business, Silver Chef also caters for successful businesses simply looking for a smart alternative for their equipment lending. 

“Silver Chef is a great option for us,” notes Leigh. “There is a base payment per week, and we didn’t need to pay it all upfront. The guys at Tu Project just said, here is what you need, and here’s where you should get it.”

Following Tu Project’s advice, Leigh called Silver Chef, and was approved on the spot. Within a week, his equipment arrived, and Pineapple Express opened its doors to Brisbane’s healthy army of green-smoothie enthusiasts. 

So for a successful young entrepreneur like Leigh, it is the flexibility and total commitment to his equipment that was the primary attraction to Silver Chef. “If something breaks down,” says Leigh, “there’s a solution to the problem. You don’t have to wait.” 

More importantly, he was able to order exactly the equipment he was wanting, without having to settle for a replacement brand or model. In fact, Leigh opted for an end-to-end fit-out – from benching, sinks, juicers, blenders, shelving, microwave, ice machine, display cabinet, dishwashers, fridges, ice makers and chiller freezers, he went with Silver Chef for it all. 

As one of five partners in the Pineapple Express venture, Leigh loves the community feel to the management team. “We all bring skills to the table,” he says. Silver Chef understands modern business is all about supporting collaborative ownership - and it is therefore exciting to watch this group of young friends work together to launch their dream cafe.

It’s an exciting new world for small businesses. It’s easier than ever to turn your dreams into a bricks-and-mortar reality. The innovation of Silver Chef works off exactly that premise - this is 2016, not 1966! There are smarter ways to get your business off the ground that just setting yourself back into deep debt.

We’ve been around providing Australians with hospitality equipment for 30 years. That’s three decades of dedicating ourselves to understanding how we can help those specifically in the hospitality industry. We like to believe that we’re the perfect business partner to young guns like Leigh Metzeling, and can’t wait to see what he - we! - are doing next.
Leigh Metzeling
Pineapple Express, QLD

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