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South Africa's Top Ten Franchises
These franchises are a pretty safe bet for investors

Franchise Finder

A while back, we talked about what makes a good franchise. Investing in a credible, established franchise ultimately carries less risk, as you’re banking on an established brand. Unfortunately, though, acquiring good franchises doesn’t come cheap. But, if you’re keen to work long hours, have an unparalleled drive to succeed, boundless enthusiasm, a good nose for business and a very large sum of ready cash, then becoming part of one of South Africa’s top ten franchises could be your best buy yet…

Country of Origin: The United States
What year was KFC started? 1952 (USA) and 1968 (South Africa)
How many KFC franchises are there in South Africa? 500
KFC is world famous for its finger lickin’ good Original Recipe® Southern Fried chicken, and South Africans love KFC just as much as anywhere else in the world…maybe even more so! KFC is consistently rated South Africa’s favourite franchise, and is one of the world’s top ten brands.
How to become a KFC franchisee: KFC sets itself very high standards, only accepting ‘exceptionally qualified individuals or organisations’ as franchisees. Amongst other things, applicants need access to sufficient unencumbered funds, have high business acumen and knowledge of the fast food industry. Along with your admission form, a non-refundable application fee of R5000 is payable.

Country of Origin:
The Netherlands
What year was SPAR started? 1932 (The Netherlands) and 1963 (South Africa)
How many SPAR franchises are there in South Africa? 800
One of the world’s top ten franchises, SPAR is a supermarket chain focusing on providing customers with value-for-money products and good, friendly service. Whilst still emphasising the qualities of the SPAR brand, each SPAR franchise has its own unique character. Owners are encouraged to make use of SPAR’s buying power, but are also empowered to source products from local suppliers. In addition to selling South Africa’s favourite brands, Spar markets its own range of high quality, competitively priced SPAR Brand Products. Spar has three store formats – SPAR for neighbourhood shopping; SUPERSPAR for one-stop, competitively priced bulk shopping and KWIKSPAR for everyday convenience.
How to become a SPAR franchisee: SPAR is currently looking to pursue further business opportunities in Africa. Contact SPAR’s Business Development Managers for further info.


Country of Origin: South Africa
What year was Steers started? 1960
How many Steers franchises are there in South Africa? 522
Steers was founded by Greek-South African entrepreneur George Halamandaris, who got the idea for a steakhouse after holidaying in the United States back in 1960. He opened South Africa’s first American-style ‘Steers Steakhouse’ in Bellevue, Johannesburg and, in 1970, his son opened an additional Steers fast food outlet in Johannesburg. Today, members of the Halamandaris family still sit on the Steers Board of Directors. Says Steers, they’re all about the burger and handmade chips – real food, made real good. Steers boasts that almost all their food is made for order from the freshest, local ingredients – an approach that has won them the Leisure Options Best Hamburger Award fifteen times and the Best Chips Award thirteen times. They’ve also been named the Franchise Association of South Africa’s Brand Builder of the Year on several occasions, as well as Franchisor of the Year and are considered a South African Superbrand.
How to become a Steers Franchisee: Got a burning desire to start your own business, a flaming passion for food and access to unencumbered cash to the tune of R1,250 000.00? Then get in touch with Steers and they’ll hook you up.

Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
What year was Wimpy started? 1962 (UK) and 1967 (South Africa)
How many Wimpy franchises are there in South Africa? 500
The first South African Wimpy fast food restaurant was in Murchie’s Passage, Durban. In 1972, to capitalise on increasing numbers of holidaymakers flocking from Johannesburg to Durbs-by-the-Sea, Wimpy struck a deal with oil company Mobil (now Engen) to set up Wimpy restaurants at Mobil petrol stations along the Jo’Burg to Durban route. Today, there are more than 40 Wimpy-Engen One-Stops throughout South Africa. In 2003, Wimpy was acquired by Famous Brands, and in 2007, in another twist in the tale, Wimpy South Africa bought out the original Wimpy brand in the United Kingdom.
How to become a Wimpy franchisee? Wimpy is always looking to expand its network of franchises, and is on the look-out for high calibre franchisees with business acumen, drive and passion. Contact Wimpy for further information.

Country of Origin:
South Africa
What year was Debonairs started? 1991
How many Debonairs franchises are there in South Africa? 300
Debonairs was born when varsity student, Craig Mckenzie started a small pizza delivery business at the back of his brother’s SPAR supermarket in Pietermaritzburg. He delivered the pizzas, rather than have customers come and collect, to avoid them having to see the poky premises out of which he was operating. Delivery turned out to be a smart move – Debonairs is now the number one pizza franchise in South Africa. Quality, speed and service are what sets Debonairs apart from its competitors. In 1996, McKenzie sold his winning business idea to Steers (now Famous Brands) for a healthy 25 million bucks. Nice job!
How to become a Debonairs franchisee: Potential Debonairs franchisees need loads of enthusiasm and a strong desire for success. You will also need to provide 50% of the total franchise set-up cost. Get hold of Debonairs to get going

Country of Origin:
What year was MacDonalds started? 1954 (US) and 1995 (South Africa)
How many MacDonalds franchises are there in South Africa? 148
MacDonalds is the world’s biggest burger franchise chain and, despite stiff competition from local fast food chains, is becoming a firm favourite with South African consumers, who are lovin’ it, as the jingle goes, particularly the famous MacDononalds Big Mac and fries. MacDonald’s claims that the South African market is one of its most successful, with the brand’s iconic Golden Arches steadily popping up across the land.
How to become a Macdonalds franchisee: Despite wanting to increase their footprint in South Africa, the MacDonalds’ brand remains discerning when it comes to franchisee selection. Think you have what it takes to be a Macdonalds franchise owner? Download their franchise application and get the ball rolling…

Country of Origin:
What year was Kumon started? 1954 (Japan) and 1991 (South Africa)
How many Kumon franchises are there in South Africa? 200
Kumon was founded by Japanese Mathematics professor Toru Kumon, and is the world’s leading education franchise and one of the world’s top ten franchises, helping children the world over improve their Maths and English skills. But improving Maths and English test scores is not the end in itself; rather the aim of Kumon is to unleash each child’s potential to love learning, improve confidence and self-esteem and encourage a good study habit.
How to become a Kumon franchisee: A Kumon franchise suits individuals with a teaching background, who love children and helping them learn. Suitably qualified individuals (with the correct educational background and necessary cash) are invited to apply.

Mugg and Bean
Country of Origin:
South Africa
What year was Mugg and Bean started? 1996
How many Mugg and Bean franchises are there in South Africa? 96
Mugg and Bean is South Africa’s leading casual coffee shop franchise, and takes its inspiration from coffee shops found in San Francisco. Mugg and Bean’s founder, Ben Filmalter, gave the brand its original American look and feel and introduced that very American concept, the bottomless cup of coffee, to South Africa. The first Mugg and Bean was situated at The Waterfront, Cape Town; since then Mugg and Beans have sprung up nationwide and become both a meeting place for ladies-who-lunch and a popular ‘office away from the office’ spot for South African business people.
How to become a Mugg and Bean Franchisee: If you have cash available, have relevant industry experience and business acumen, fill in an application form and Mugg and Bean will get back to you.

What year was Nando’s started?
How many Nando’s franchises are there in South Africa? 54
Nando’s was started by Portuguese-South African entrepreneurs Robert and Fernando (Nando for short). They bought a fast food outlet in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, called Chickenland and renamed it Nando’s. Known not just for their good food, but for quirky, cheeky advertising campaigns, Nandos has grown rapidly into a brand to be reckoned with. Specialising in famous flame-grilled peri-peri chicken – Nando’s has a presence, not just in South Africa, but on five continents around the world. 900 stores in 24 countries? Not bad for two okes from Jo’Burg!
How to become a Nando’s Franchisee: Nando’s is understandably choosy when it comes to selecting franchisees. In addition to having access to enough cash, prospective Nando’s franchisees must be credit-worthy, be entrepreneurial and a have a passion for business, experience in the fast food trade and last, but by no means least, they must love Nando’s Chicken! Contact Nando’s and see if you have what it takes to be a Nandocas.

Country of Origin:
South Africa
What year was Keg started? 1992
How many Keg franchises are there in South Africa? 30
Keg is a franchised pub and restaurant brand, popular with South African consumers. With that ‘friendly neighbourhood pub’ look and feel, the Keg brand is the leading themed pub franchise in South Africa. The Keg brand’s emphasis is on providing good pub grub, cold draught and a convivial atmosphere for patrons.
How to become a Keg franchisee: Famous Brands has recently acquired the Keg brand, and is looking for dynamic, motivated individuals with previous industry experience to become Keg franchisees. Contact Keg Restaurants and Pubs to learn more.

Also read:

*This list is based on number of outlets, as well as brand recognition.

Author: Franchise Finder, Online Directory of Franchises and Business Opportunities in South Africa


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