In its first foray ever into the mass-based entry-level market, Famous Brands has developed a custom-built offering designed to capture the appetites of LSM 3 to 6 consumers. Menu items include pap and vleis, boerewors, Russian sausages, stews, flame grilled and fried chicken, burgers, mash, chips, soft serve ice-cream and a range of carbonated soft drinks. Price points are under R20 (twenty Rand) and the ‘tummy-fill’ factor is paramount to this offering. Blacksteer Home of Shisanyama’s pilot restaurant, situated in Jules Street in Malvern, has met with very favourable consumer response since opening last week. The franchisee, Peaceful Ngcube, is a former long-standing employee of Famous Brands.
Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Hedderwick says, “Our Blacksteer Home of Shisanyama (Blacksteer) venture is a revelation for Famous Brands. The Group has never directly participated in the LSM 3 to 6 market segment in a meaningful and focused manner, but in line with our ambition to constantly innovate and broaden our portfolio offering, we have identified this sector as one with vast potential. Developing our new concept has demanded a totally new mind-set in terms of site selection, trading format, the look and feel of the brand, its core offering, pricing, procurement, and how we will market it.” “While consumers in the LSM 3 to 6 category have limited disposable income, they do buy ‘out of home’ meals on a regular basis, and these meals are often the main meal of the day. Despite the limited individual spend, the sheer volume of the target market is enormous,” Hedderwick notes.
In 2010 Famous Brands acquired the trademarks and franchise agreements of Blacksteer – restaurants which have either closed, or the Group has converted, or is in the process of converting to an alternate and appropriate Famous Brands’ brand. “The Blacksteer vehicle was thus available for use,” comments Hedderwick. “The imagery of the black steer is extremely powerful and its association with flamed grilled red meat is obvious. We have adopted the best elements of the original branding and revitalised them for this purpose.”
Shisa nyama is a Zulu phrase meaning to ‘burn the meat’. In many South African townships the term is used to describe an informal braai where friends come together near a butchery, to grill meat on an open fire.
Trading patterns over the December holiday period differed somewhat from previous years, largely as a result of continued financial pressure on consumers. “The traditional exodus of holidaymakers from inland to coastal resorts took place much later than normal, and to a much lesser degree,” explains Hedderwick. “Whilst our restaurants on transient routes and at airports traditionally deliver extremely robust growth at this time, we noticed that this was slightly more subdued than previously, however, the performance of the Group’s restaurants in inland shopping malls was stronger than traditionally expected.”
The above financial figures have not been reviewed or reported on by the Group’s external auditors.
Val Bourdos, Managing Executive, Brand Development, who headed up the team responsible for this project comments, “Our extensive research into the Blacksteer’s Home of Shisanyama concept has ensured that this offering is well targeted, and brings to consumers an authentic, local experience underpinned by the standard franchise disciplines for which Famous Brands is recognised.”
For further information:
Chief Executive Officer
Famous Brands Ltd
Telephone: 011 651 5812
Mobile: 083 395 8608