20 June 2013
South African food service group Famous Brands is expanding into the United Kingdom with the opening of its first branch of burger franchise Steers in Clapham, southwest of London, in July.
This follows closely on the group’s announcement that it would be opening five Debonairs Pizza restaurants in Mumbai in India, also planned to open in July.
“We’ve long considered exporting Steers to the UK, fuelled by the constant requests from expatriates living in London craving a taste of home,” Famous Brands chief executive, Kevin Hedderwick, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Having researched the market we believe that the timing of this launch is right and that our flame-grilled offering will create as much excitement and recognition in the UK as in South Africa.”
This international expansion forms part of the group’s plan to ramp up new restaurant openings across its entire brand portfolio, with 46 expected for the second quarter of 2013 alone.
Expanding into the rest of Africa remains one of the company’s top priorities. “We are enthusiastic about the potential to grow our presence on the African continent,” Hedderwick said.
“The rest of Africa is fast becoming the playground for opportunistic investors and with more than 12 years experience in the region, we believe our strategy to deepen our presence in specifically targeted markets will continue to serve us well.”
Finding and tapping into new markets within South Africa itself is also part of the firm’s growth strategy.
“Of the 30 restaurants opened in South Africa [in the second quarter], 18 are in new emerging markets. We are especially pleased with our entry into these markets where we were previously under-represented and where our brands are viewed as aspirational,” he said.
“This penetration into new emerging markets is part of a deliberate strategy to make our brands available, accessible and affordable.”