News & Media

Unisa has conferred an honorary doctorate on successful business mogul and entrepreneur, Natasha Sideris


The University of South Africa (Unisa) has conferred an honorary doctorate on successful business mogul and entrepreneur, Ms Natasha Sideris at a graduation ceremony held at the university’s Muckleneuk Campus on Tuesday, 07 May 2024.

The university has conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) on Ms Sideris in recognition of her substantial and unique contributions to the fields of hospitality and consumer science, and her relentless pursuit of excellence in creating dining concepts that combine culinary art with exceptional customer service.

Sideris, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Tashas Restaurant Group, has distinguished herself as a ground-breaking force in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

After recognising a significant market gap for a simple, un-themed, daytime dining concept, she launched the first Tashas café in Atholl in 2005. Her vision was to create venues where customers could enjoy beautiful food in beautiful environments, served with special care. This concept flourished and expanded over eighteen years to include fifteen locations in South Africa and six in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Each Tashas café reflects a unique theme inspired by various places and times, showcasing her commitment to creating distinct dining experiences.

Furthermore, her entrepreneurial journey extended to developing other sophisticated dining concepts like Avli by Tashas, Flamingo Room by Tashas, Bungalo34, and the internationally acclaimed Galaxy Bar. Her ventures emphasise a blend of cultural homage and innovative cuisine, enhancing the global dining landscape. The Galaxy Bar has been recognised among the world's top 50 bars in 2020 and 2021, a testament to her exemplary leadership in conceptualising and managing world-class establishments.

This honorary degree recognises not only her transformative impact on the hospitality industry, but also her visionary leadership that continues to inspire and shape the global standards of dining and guest experience. Her lifelong commitment to elevating the consumers’ hospitality experience, her innovative contributions to the industry, and her ability to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs make her eminently worthy of this honour, aligning perfectly with Unisa’s mission, vision and values.

The graduation ceremony took take place on Monday 07 May 2024 during the 18:00 graduation ceremony on the Muckleneuk Campus in Pretoria.  To view the ceremony on youTube, click here

Publish date: 2024/05/07