Big changes ahead for restaurants in South Africa: Owner of Steers and Debonairs


The post-Covid restaurant environment in South Africa will be totally different from before, and for the better, says restaurant group Famous Brands.

Presenting its annual results on Tuesday May 31, the owner of Steers and Debonairs said this will include establishments that are both cleaner and safer than before. However, he noted that financial constraints have changed how and where people eat out.

“Customers are eating out less due to financial constraints and are increasingly looking for value purchases. We strive to limit the price increases of our menus to remain competitive. Our promotional activities focus on value for money proposals, including meal sharing. We use our loyalty programs to encourage repeat purchases,” he said.

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“Customers are looking for simplicity in their lives, and we need to respond with simple, value-for-money offerings. At the same time, they want to try new things. As we continue to operate with reduced menus for many brands to simplify restaurant operations, we have also introduced selected innovations to retain and attract customers.

Famous Brands added that social media appears to be driving an increase in environmentally conscious and socially connected customers, with the group also noting a “growing consumer awareness” for ethical and sustainable sourcing and production, menu options vegan and vegetarian, and better, more eco-friendly. packaging solutions.

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Technology change

Famous Brands noted that Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of specific technologies, including contactless technology, third-party ordering platforms and delivery apps.

The group said it was embracing take-out and delivery, including curbside pickup and third-party delivery, pre-order options and increasing drive-thru capacity.

It is also moving away from more traditional menus in some of its stores. “Our table ordering and payment technology allows customers to order and pay for food from the comfort and security of their own device. It also improves table turn times and hospitality while providing valuable data to better understand customer behavior. »

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Inflation and pricing

During the year, South Africa experienced significant food inflation, peaking at 6.9%. Famous Brands said price pressures in its basket came primarily from beef, green coffee beans, milk and whey powders, oil and spices.

“The stronger rand has helped to dampen some significant increases in commodity prices. Covid-19 continues to disrupt supply chains with a global shortage of vessels and containers, leading to higher shipping costs, costs higher imported goods and longer shipping times.

Read: Stores begin to limit certain products as ‘price storm’ hits South Africa



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