Helping Madiba Continue to Give a Helping Hand
One of the unique characteristics of franchises is their deep involvement with the communities in which they trade – something they recognize as virtually the lifeblood of a franchise. It is therefore perhaps no surprise that most franchise systems are passionate about contributing to the communities in which they operate in South Africa. They do so through the wide variety of products and services they offer, as well as the diversity of skills and resources possessed by their staff. This can only have long-term, positive benefits for the community.
Most likely, the bulk of assistance given by franchises goes unrecorded. But certainly, schools and universities across the country know that if they’re putting on a sporting or theatrical event, local franchises will support them with food, beverages and often money.
Many franchises will have had their staff on the street performing 67 minutes of volunteer work this past July 18 in celebration of International Mandela Day.
Spur Foundation in fact shares its birthday with Madiba, and therefore the day has special significance for it and particularly on children – little people whom Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela loved and encouraged during his lifetime.
It was Madiba’s commitment to children that inspired The Spur Foundation’s focus on the first 2,000 days of a child’s life, with particular emphasis on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and nutrition. Partnering with JAM (Joint Aid Management) South Africa, a non-profit organisation that offers nutritious breakfasts to many thousands of children every school day, the Foundation has pledged to facilitate mini make-overs at seven ECD centres in Diepsloot, Khayelitsha, Franschhoek and Chesterville, Kwa-Zulu Natal in JAM’s care.
The Spur Foundation has launched the Full Tummy Fund, a programme that focuses on both ECD and nutrition for children from disadvantaged communities up to the age of six. One of the Full Tummy Fund’s focuses, in partnership with JAM South Africa, is the establishment of food gardens in ECD centres around the country – providing a source of fresh produce for the facilities’ kitchens to utilise, as well as offering an educational and recreational outlet for the children.
Mandela Day focus for 2016 was on six ECD facilities in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Each one will receive a mini-makeover from the Foundation’s willing volunteers, who are drawn from all of the Spur Corporation’s operations: Spur, Panarotti’s, John Dory’s Fish Grill Sushi and RocoMamas. In addition, it established Full Tummy Fund gardens in three of the centres – two in Gauteng and one in the Western Cape.
A review of the websites of South Africa’s other franchises gives a feel for what took place. For instance, KFC’s Add Hope initiative, together also with JAM South Africa, packed 1,000 food parcels at the KFC head office in honour of Madiba this year. The parcels were donated to three Add Hope beneficiaries across South Africa. KFC’s all-year-round corporate social responsibility programme, Add Hope, has raised over R320m since inception in 2009. This national feeding initiative allows KFC customers to purchase ‘hope’ off the menu for just R2, which is spent on food for over 110 beneficiaries.
Burger King Franchise
It is not just by CSI initiatives that big international franchises support South Africa, but through local procurement. Burger King in South Africa, for instance, made developing a local supply chain a key business priority since entering the country in May 2013. On its website it claims “All our chicken, beef, burger buns, fresh produce, diary and packaging are locally sourced. Our vision is to continuously improve the company’s responsible food journey through the use of a local supply chain.”
Sandwich Baron Franchise
Sandwich Baron has been celebrating its 20th anniversary, and during July ran a ‘Varsity Eat Off’ as just one of 20 activations. The competition, run at Wits, UJ and AFDA universities, has selected three finalists who will compete against each other when the varsities reopen. The winning hungry under-graduates consumed three (one almost made four) foot longs to qualify.
Sandwich Baron has also been giving away 20 free subs every day.
There is also a growing movement globally and in South Africa to end suffering of battery chickens and to commit to cruelty-free eggs. In September 2015‚ McDonald’s publicly committed to phasing out battery cages from their supply chain in Canada and the US, albeit over 10 years, though not yet in South Africa.
Burger King has also committed to switching to 100% cage-free eggs, eliminating eggs produced by hens confined in cages from its egg supply chain. It applies to all the company’s brands worldwide, including South Africa.
Mugg & Bean Franchise
Mugg & Bean has decided to focus its community interests on the scourge of cancer, by supporting Cupcakes of HOPE, a non-profit organisation that focuses on creating awareness around children with cancer. A common theme of franchises with considerable retail traffic moving through their outlets is their ability to act as a focal point and to leverage the goodwill of customers. For instance, whenever a customer buys a cupcake at Mugg & Bean, the franchise pays R3 from each sale to this worthy cause.
Steers opted to partner with Let’s Play to launch the biggest schools’ fitness initiative of the decade last year. With a host of partners, the initiative challenges schools throughout the country to prove their fitness with the primary objective of promoting physical education along with its innumerable benefits, in schools. This nationwide challenge, which targets 10 year olds, reached 403 000 kids in 477 primary schools in 2015, as part of Let’s Play’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
It is with such dedication to the cause of CSI that franchises remain close to their markets.
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