HOSPITALITY: Spur Revamps Its Cape Roots
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ALTHOUGH restaurant franchisor Spur Corporation has its roots firmly in Cape Town, its successful expansion effort over the last decade has seen the company franchisees operating many more outlets in Gauteng than the Western Cape.
That probably is understandable, as the spending power and mall culture is so much stronger in Gauteng.
It also seems there is an opportunity to catch ‘emerging market’ spending power in Gauteng, and it’s worth noting that recent new restaurant openings have taken place in Atteridgeville, Soweto, Braamfontein and Hillbrow.
Plans are in place for Spur to open outlets in Gugulethu, just outside Cape Town. But so far there are no indications of how many outlets this sprawling settlement could accommodate.
While it seems the action is all taking place in Gauteng, one must realise that Spur still has a formidable presence in the Cape. By CBN’s reckoning there are around 53 Spur outlets in the Western Cape – including more than a handful that are company owned and part-owned by directors.
In other words 20% of Spur’s restaurants are located in the Western Cape.
There are also around a dozen Panarottis outlets, which specialise in pasta/pizza but has never quite carried the same appeal as a family eatery as the Spur.
But Spur’s latest annual report certainly suggests the company’s roots in Cape Town – remember founder and chairman Allan Ambor opened the first Spur in Newlands in the late sixties – are not being neglected.
The company has come up with a concept of a ‘signature store’ for its high profile sites. And the first recipient of this makeover was the flagship Santa Ana Spur in the V&A Waterfront.
Spur MD Pierre Van Tonder says the Soaring Hawk Spur in the Cape Town International airport has been re-located to a new site and has re-opened as a signature store.
He says the new look ‘signature’ restaurants – which feature a complete re-design of décor – are being “extremely well received”.
Spur’s annual report does make mention of the launch of a smaller restaurant concept which would make it possible for Spur to operate in smaller towns.
Here one could imagine a number of vibrant Western Cape towns – maybe even locations like Greyton (where Van Tonder and Ambor have been spotted recently) – where Spur could set up lucrative smaller franchises.
In the meantime it might be interesting to gauge developments locally for Spur’s recently acquired John Dory’s Fish & Grill, which was founded in the KwaZulu-Natal market.
Van Tonder says John Dory’s focus will be on the Western Cape market, where there are already five outlets. But it’s a tough seafood market in Cape Town and surrounds with Ocean Basket and the Cape Fish Market having captured strong niches in the so-called ‘affordable’ seafood sector.
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