In spite of slow economic growth the South African food industry, especially the fast food industry sector has been growing over the years. The franchise sector continues to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP. In general, franchises have had a much higher success rate than new start-ups since they ride on the established name and reputation of the franchisor. There are a lot of international and local food franchises in South Africa with many that have grown from local restaurants to international brands. Below are some of the popular food franchises to consider.

Ocean Basket

Established in 1995, Ocean basket is one of South Africa’s popular food franchises. It has over 150 stores. The food franchise offers Mediterranean seafood at competitive prices.  The food franchise is based on offering people delicious seafood, generosity, abundance, affordability, and a sense of being welcomed to an area. Every franchise has an advisor who assists in the opening and day to day operations of the food franchise restaurant. The Business advisors add value from an operational and financial point of view as well as ensuring that the brand integrity of Ocean Basket is maintained. The start-up costs are estimated to be between R3.5 million to R5 million full turn key.


Another popular food franchise in South Africa is Anat. This food franchise started of as a shwarma family restaurant in 1945. Later on, Anat then reopened the restaurant in 1991 from a mobile unit at a  Flea Market to become one of the leading food franchises in South Africa. The food franchise has developed a product line with a special focus on a Middle Eastern flavour that includes Shwarmas, Falafel and Laffa (wraps). T The company has been operating for over 20 years with more than 10 outlets all over South Africa. It takes about R1.2 million to set up an Anat food franchise.

The Fish and Chip Co

The fish and chip Co also started as a small business and grew into another leading food franchise in the country. Now the fast-food restaurant is part of Taste Holdings. The Fish and Chip Co offers fresh fish and chips to customers across the country. The company is one of the fastest growing and most popular fast food franchise in the country. The fast-food franchise has over 100 outlets and was nominated in the top 10 Fast-Food Restaurant category for the Sunday Times Top Brands 2015 awards. It takes about R700 000 to set up a Fish and Chip Co franchise.

Simply Asia

Simply Asia was founded by a Thai national Chai Lekcharoensuk years after his arrival in South Africa after being disappointed by the Thai food that he had tasted in one restaurant in the country.  He was then inspired to open a more upmarket restaurant in Cape Town in which served Thai food and noodles. Thereafter, Simply Asia has become one of the most popular food franchise in the country. Simply Asia is currently the leading player in the Thai restaurant industry in South Africa with over 50 outlets nationwide. The average set up cost for Simply Asia franchise ranges between R600 000 to R2 million.

Spur Steak Ranches

Spur was established in 1967 and the food franchise has grown to become one of the most recognised brands in South Africa. It is known as ‘the official restaurant of the South African family’. Spur is popular for being a family dining franchise that provides its customers  with  quality, value-for-money meals in a welcoming environment. The Spur Group listed on the JSE in 1986, at the time it had 43 franchised Spur Steak Ranches outlets. Currently the food franchise has 272 Spur Steak Ranches in South Africa and 40 international outlets. To set up a Spur Steak ranch requires a minimum investment of R4.5 million.

Sausage Saloon

Another well known food franchise well known in South Africa is Sausage Saloon. Known for their hotdogs the company established in the year 1997. Sausage Saloon won the International Quality Competition in Germany where more than 25 000 products from around the world were tested. The company walked away with 4 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals and 2 Bronze medals. With a continually up to date menu the food franchise ensures that the customer gets the best innovative, exciting, and exceptional quality meals. To set up a Sausage Saloon franchise a minimum set up cost of R800 000 is required.

News Café

News café is a well known franchise that offers world class entertainment,  quality food offerings and premium beverages in an environment that is contemporary, vibrant, and relevant. News Café is currently the market leader when it comes to cocktails plus the franchise was awarded the best cocktail bar in Johannesburg for 19 years consecutively. Founded in 1995, the company has grown from being a single restaurant in Hatfield to a household name all over South Africa. The average set up costs of the franchise is R6.5 million.

Panarrotti’s Pizza

Panarrotti’s Pizza was founded in 1990 and the franchise has established itself as South Africa’s favourite Italian-inspired restaurant. The food franchise is known for its high-quality fresh ingredients and its warm and family-friendly environment. Currently there are 95 outlets in South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, and Australia. Panarrotti’s Pizza offers a variety of meals for the whole family, and its main focus is on pizzas, pastas, and grills. The pizzas are made from imported Italian flour, plus the pizzas, select pastas and grills are baked in a wood-fired oven, for a unique and authentic flavour. The average set up cost for the food franchise is R4.5 million.

King Pie

King Pie is another well-loved food franchise that was founded in 1990, and today has a number of stores across South Africa and the SADC region. The King Pie Group has over 280 franchises and it is part of the Bidvest Group Limited. The franchise sells a variety of pies, fresh fries and beverages. The King Pie Store model is mostly versatile, and the start up costs ranges from R450 000 to R550 000 depending on the location.