Welcoming a new arrival from the US – Hooters franchise


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Hooters

At a time when many South African franchisors appear reluctant to expand their networks, citing the current state of the economy as an excuse for their lack of appetite for expansion, Chanticleer Holdings, a US investment company, shows trust in South AfricaÔÇÖs future by putting its money where its mouth is. They teamed up with Cape Town-based Shaw Food (Pty) Ltd to bring an iconic restaurant brand to South Africa.

Chanticleer Holdings is a US-based business development company that seeks to invest in value-based opportunities that generate current income and offer long-term capital appreciation. As one would expect, they did not make the decision to invest in South Africa lightly. Their board looked at our country, liked what they saw and secured an option from Hooters, the US-based restaurant chain, to take the brand to South Africa.

Hooters is an iconic brand with a total of about 450 outlets and high growth potential. The first Hooters outlet opened its doors about 25 years ago. It proved an instant hit with its target clientele, chiefly males who want to watch sport and have a good time. In addition to a comprehensive drinks menu, Hooters offer seafood, sandwiches and spicy chicken wings. It isnÔÇÖt the food that has made Hooters world-famous, however, but its serving staff. It is Hooters policy to have busty waitresses serve guests in skimpy outfits and offer them drinks, food ÔÇô and a spectacular view!

While the US remains HootersÔÇÖ stronghold, the brand has managed to build up an impressive international presence. It currently extends into 20 different countries on several continents and growth continues at a rapid pace. Up to now, the African continent had been overlooked but this is about to change.

Negotiations started in earnest in December 2006 when Chanticleer secured an option to take Hooters to South Africa. Following the forming of a joint venture with Shaw Food (Pty) Ltd in which both parties hold an equal stake, the company exercised the option and the joint venture partners expect the first Hooters venue to open its doors to the public by December 2009. Beyond that, firm plans are in place to set up at least three more outlets in time to attract some of the business FIFA 2010 is expected to create.

We welcome the foreign investment and injection of expertise this venture will create and wish its backers every success.

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