Never underestimate the power of a passion project to alter the trajectory of your life. Natasha Sideris started Tasha’s as a side hustle as she plotted to further her psychology studies.
Soon there were two, then three outlets and studying went out the window and raising capital for growth became a focus.
Natasha Sideris great superpower is not just spending money or dreaming up big ideas – both of which she is exceptionally good at – but in a dogged determination to turn her creative spark into a sustainable food empire.
Unlike several globally recognised chefs whose concepts in Dubai bombed, Natasha Sideris based herself in the UAE for a decade while building out the business in collaboration with different business partners in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Choosing the right partners she maintains is the difference between success and failure and attributes the failures of some in the region to that fundamental error.
She is driven and a self-confessed control freak for whom second best is not good enough. It is her painstaking attention to detail and her relentless focus which sees her open her first UK outlet this year at the booming Battersea Power Station development – at least 20 more will follow within the M25 ring road by 2030.
She will relocate for the start up phase of the new UK venture to London as she plants the seeds of the first restaurant in that city which is rebounding strongly since the covid pandemic.
Her biggest lesson has been in ensuring that you have the power to let go of absolute control in order to give yourself the space to think about the next big move. In the early years she oversaw every aspect of every outlet herself and when the move to Dubai happened she handed over the South African stores to her brother and business partner Savva. Now as she moves in on new markets again, this time in the UK and in Saudi Arabia, she is setting up an entire structure under a Chief Operating Officer to ensure she is able to move and be flexible so that she can focus on growth.
The global lockdowns during the pandemic showed just how vulnerable the restaurant sector can be to mass shutdowns. Wisely Natasha spent the downtime when the kitchens could not operate to reevaluate, rethink and reshape the business of Tasha’s.
She emerged from that crisis, more stressed but wiser than ever and armed with the courage to keep pushing boundaries.