Hot Brands International enters the fast food arena in South Africa

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Hot Brands International

Trying to capitalise on South African’s growing appetite for fast food, the Dubai-based quick service restaurant chain Hot Brands International, has set up a wholly-owned local operation.

The parent company, which was established in 1992, currently operates through 41 franchised restaurants located in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait and India. The group offers ethnic food under six distinct brands and serves 2 million meals a year. Combined annual sales for the past year were in the region of $15 million.
Hot Brands South Africa plans to establish 6 franchised stores by the end of the year, pushing this up to 100 franchised stores over the following 3-5 years. Local franchise development manager Kevin Draper explains that this initial roll-out will involve three brands only, namely Magic Wok (Chinese), Shamiana (Indian) and Santino’s (Italian).

The group’s first restaurant in South Africa will open in Cape Town soon. It will trade under the Shamiana brand and serve traditional Hindi cuisine in a traditional wedding tent. Draper expects the concept to fill a gap in the local market.

The establishment of a Hot Brands outlet costs between R500 000 and R650 000. 95% of the required fittings and signage will be sourced in South Africa. However, specialised equipment such as the Tandoori ovens will be imported from India. The group also plans to import its branded sauces.

Once up and running, each store will employ between 6 and 10 people. If the group reaches its target of 100 units by 2011, it would become a substantial employer, making the group a welcome arrival in South Africa.