South African QSR operator Spur opens its first drive thru outlet

Spur Corporation, the South African QSR operator, has opened its first drive-thru restaurant in Pretoria. It is another example of innovation-led responses to consumer behaviour as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen consumers and operators seek alternatives to inside dining.

The drive-thru, in the suburb of Karenspark in Pretoria, will offer meals that are usually sold at its restaurants including burgers, chicken wings, ribs and onion rings, the group said. The site also features a traditional Spur restaurant where customers can have a sit down meal.

Spur Corporation will also look at introducing the drive-thru format for its other franchises, such as RocoMamas. Like other QSR operators, Spur Corporation has experienced significant issues as a result of lockdowns, new regulations and changes in consumer behaviour resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March the group published its interim results for the six months ended 31st December 2020. Group revenue declined by 40.2% from R525.0m ($38.74m) same period in 2019 to R314.2m ($23.19m) for the six months of H2 2020. Revenue from the South African operations accounts for 95.3% of total group revenue. South African franchise revenue in Spur declined by 43.6%, Panarottis and Casa Bella by 46.7%, John Dory’s by 49.8%, The Hussar Grill by 41.5%, RocoMamas by 23.8% and Nikos by 48.7%.

Group alcohol sales were also 39% lower for the period as a result of the ban on sale of all alcoholic drinks for part of the period.

The impact of COVID-19 has led retailers and QSR operators to innovate and create new service propositions to account for the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic and reluctance from consumers to sit/shop inside.