South Africa Steakhouse becomes Ethiopia’s first international brand eatery

South Africa is bringing Ethiopia its first chain restaurant. Spur Steak Ranches which features steak, ribs, burgers and the kind of appetizers one finds in western eateries like Buffalo wings, calamari, jalapeño poppers, prawns and nachos is expected to open at its location near Bole Mendenhelem, Abissinya Building.

The 40 year old, global, multi-brand restaurant franchiser Spur Corporation International and the Ethiopian Cucina Trading Plc formed a partnership in April 2015 to open specialty restaurants in Addis Ababa.

Neway Berhanu, one of the two partners of Calibra Hospitality and Consultancy Business PlC that owns Cucina Trading told Capital that the restaurant managed by Spur will open its doors this month.

Neway said that the restaurant, which is owned by four Ethiopians, has consumed 15 million birr.

The interior and kitchen have been constructed and furnished with international standards.

“Every adequate item which meets the standards of Spur has been imported and now all of the required equipment including a cold room have been installed at the restaurant which is located at Bole Medhanialem area on Abyssinia Plaza building,” he said.

“Spur is more than just steak we feature dishes like chicken, seafood,lamb, Mexican and vegetarian foods on the menu as well as kids meals,” Mulugeta Demissie, Managing Director of Cucina Trading, told Capital.

”Importing and training the staff to meet the Spur standard has taken significant time,”  Neway, a leading hospitality industry consulting expert, said.

He added that three of the senior executive staff have taken a two month in-depth training in South Africa. “These executives have provided training for the local staff here,” Neway added.

An additional 15 South African opening teams will come to support the opening and to provide ongoing training for the local staff for a short period. The restaurant has a capacity of accommodating up to 180 customers. It has a supplementary kids playing space and will have 65 employees.

Spur had management from South Africa visit meat processers to confirm if they had the capacity to supply international standard meat. “We have selected local suppliers who have experience in the export market,” the restaurant leaders explained.

Panarottis Pizza Pasta will be the next specialized restaurant that will be opened in the second strategic plan. Neway said that the other franchise restaurant under Spur that serves pizza and pasta will be realized within a year.

Calibra Hospitality and Consultancy Business is a local hospitality consultancy firm managed by Neway and Yonas Moges. They have successfully supported Ethiopian investors in establishing local hotels.  Calibra has been behind 14 international hotel brands in Ethiopia.

An additional four deals are in the pipeline under the consultancy firm.

Tewodros Zerihun and Dawit Zerihun, the owners of Great Abyssinia are the other two shareholders of the restaurant with the two Cucina partners.

The Cape Town based chain meal provider established in 1967 has different brand outlets in 52 corners of the globe and is aggressively expanding into North America, the Middle East and Europe.

Currently it operates about 500 restaurants and over 100 outlets are in the works.