Burger King plans whopper expansion in South Africa

Empowerment investment company Grand Parade Investments (GPI) is relishing the prospect of its Burger King investment munching rapidly into the market share of the local fast food sector.

GPI, which secured the Burger King master agreement for South Africa in late 2012, already has 10 outlets scattered through Cape Town and Gauteng. GPI’s results released on Tuesday showed Burger King generated a better-than-expected R38m in revenue in the six months to December.

The strong revenue figure is perhaps not that surprising since social media is inundated with reports of long queues outside certain Burger King stores as consumers clamour for a taste of the iconic ” Whopper” burger.

CEO of GPI Alan Keet said the revenue generated in the interim stemmed mainly from four Cape Town-based outlets with a smidgen of additional revenue churned out by an additional Burger King that opened in the city in early December.

“Trade (in Burger King) remains brisk and turnover is exceeding budget by 65%,” Mr Keet said. “So far the revenue generated from Burger King has by far exceeded our expectations.

“The stores are shooting the lights out .”

Mr Keet said Burger King’s push into Gauteng, where a handful of stores now operated, looked most promising too. Six Burger Kings operated in Cape Town, and four in Gauteng.

“One of our stores in Pretoria West, situated in a Sasol forecourt, is already beating sales in our first store in Adderley Street in Cape Town,” Mr Keet said.

The flagship food-court Burger King outlet in Rivonia was beating the first Cape Town store sales by one-and-half times.

Mr Keet believed GPI’s target of 100 stores within five years would be comfortably exceeded. The firm, with gearing of just 11%, had more than enough balance sheet capacity to aggressively roll out Burger King outlets.

GPI was committed to paying dividends to its many community-based shareholders.

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