Apart from Nando’s, Famous Brands is probably SA’s most successful fast food/quick service restaurant operation. But whereas Nando’s rules the British high street, Famous Brands has struggled to gain traction in this notoriously competitive region of the global food outlet landscape. And back home in SA, things aren’t going so well either. The group has closed almost 100 stores in recent times. The bulk of the closures have been in the so-called leading brands of Steers, Debonairs and Wimpy, with Wimpy taking most of the heat. There have also been closures in Bread Basket, which is being phased out; Wakaberry; and Mr Bigg’s in Nigeria. Giramundo, the flamed chicken chain, is being wound down as it has never been able to gain meaningful traction.A sign of the times, surely, as Taste Holdings (owner of Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks in SA) and Spur are also finding the going tough. Famous Brands’ full-year results to end February 2018 were poor. At first glance, group revenue grew by a ...

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