Biggest fast food chains in South Africa

When it comes to fast food, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is by some margin the most prolific brand in the country, with 771 stores spread across the land.

In its latest annual report, KFC parent company, Yum Foods, listed 771 KFC outlets in South Africa, the group’s biggest market in the developing world, behind only China (which is also KFC’s biggest market, globally).

South Africa’s love for fried chicken is not-so-closely followed by a love for burgers, with local burger take-away, Steers, in second place.

According to Famous Brands’ 2014 annual report, the group’s largest fast food franchise is Steers, with 509 stores across the country, followed by the family-friendly Wimpy franchise at under 500 stores, and its Debonairs pizza chain following with 382 stores.

Nando’s, largely considered to be South Africa’s most successful food franchise, has over 1,000 stores in 30 countries across the globe, but is only the sixth biggest in its home country.

Nando's chicken
Nando’s chicken

The chicken franchise has around 350 stores in the UK, where it is growing in popularity, and over 300 stores locally.

Another popular fried chicken franchise, Chicken Licken, operates over 240 stores, according to the company’s  most recent reporting.

The SA-born fried chicken company is the eighth largest fast food chain, behind another local favourite, Gold Brand’s Chesa Nyama, which has 251 listed stores.

According to Chesa Nyama founder and MD, Stelio Nathanael, the chain is targeting 500 stores by 2017.

Domino’s pizza is the latest fast food entrant into South Africa and currently has 15 stores in Joburg, Cape Town and Durban, with 2 more stores opening soon.

However, brand owner, Taste Holdings has expressed its intention to completely transform two of its pizza brands – St Elmo’s and Scooters Pizza – into Dominos Pizza over time.

“Scooters Pizza and St Elmo’s will be converted to Domino’s Pizza outlets in due course creating a platform of over 125 outlets to which new Domino’s Pizza stores will be added,” the group said.

“While franchisee applications will be processed for new Domino’s stores, no further Scooters or St Elmo’s stores will be opened.”

Even with brands such as Domino’s, Scooters and the recently acquired Zebo’s Chicken chain, Taste Holdings’ most prolific fast food brand is The Fish & Chips Co., which has over 330 stores across the country- the fifth biggest chain in SA.

Biggest Fast Food Brands in SA

The numbers below are taken from annual reports, store counts and latest-reported data.

Fast Food South Africa
Fast Food in South Africa
# Fast food chain Owner Stores
1 KFC Yum! Brands 771
2 Steers Famous Brands 509
3 Wimpy Famous Brands 497
4 Debonairs Famous Brands 382
5 The Fish & Chip Co. Taste Holdings 330
6 Nando’s Nando’s Holdings 300
7 Chesa Nyama Gold Brands 251
8 Chicken Licken Family-owned 240
9 McDonald’s Shanduka 200
10 Roman’s Pizza Roman’s Pizza 163
11 Fishaways Famous Brands 157
12 Kauai Kauai 148
13 Domino’s Pizza Taste Holdings 125*
14 Pizza Perfect Eclectic Brands 102
15 Mochachos Mochachos Franchise Management Group 76
16 Panarottis Spur Holdings 68
17 Barcelo’s Barcelo’s 65
18 Zebro’s Taste Holdings 45
19 Burger King Grand Parade Investments 38
20 Anat Family-owned 26
21 Burger Perfect Eclectic Brands 20
22 1+1 Pizza Gold Brands 14
23 Andiccio24 Andiccio24 14
24 Chicken Tyme Eclectic Brands 6
25 Pizza Hut Yum! Brands 5

* Includes Scooters and St Elmo’s Pizza franchises

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Biggest fast food chains in South Africa