The history of franchising in South Africa, as recorded in the book Franchising in South Africa by Eric Parker and Kurt Illetschko began when entrepreneurs like George Halamandaris of Steers fame and Alan Ambor of Spur Steak Ranches saw the development of fast food and steakhouses in the USA and decided to bring similar concepts to South Africa.
Founder and Executive Chairman Allen Ambor opened the first Spur in Newlands Cape Town in 1967, and today 330 Spur Steak Ranches serve customers all over the world. Voted South Africa’s Top Sit-down Restaurant (Sunday Times Top Brands Awards five out of the last six years), Spur is both proud and privileged to have had the support of its customers for five decades.
The CEO of Spur Corporation, Pierre van Tonder, said, “The Spur family is indebted to Allen’s vision of putting the customer first. These foundations have entrenched this brand in hearts of most South Africans. People always ask me why I have been working at Spur for so long, and I think it is because of the freedom, and how Allen has allowed me to express myself within the business. Spur is a place where people can grow and will continue to do so, we are indebted to the thousands of staff that have committed years of service to our brand.”
Commenting on the 50 years of Spur, Allen Ambor said, “I think that Spur has made a huge contribution to this country when you consider that before it existed one person was employed and not getting a salary. That was me. 50 years on it’s got over fifteen thousand people, even more including all our other brands, working for it. So we’ve contributed to our country and we’ve helped our fellow countrymen to earn a living and to enjoy themselves doing so. Spur is more than just an employer of people; it’s the place where friends, family and co-workers come together over great food to create outstanding memories.”
It is thanks to brands such as Spur that have supported the Franchise Association of South Africa from its inception in 1979 in upholding ethical franchising and help grow the franchise sector to the business force that it is today – with over 700 franchise systems, over 40 000 franchisees, employing close to 400 000 people and contributing 13.3% to the country’s GDP.