Braai Day Take-Away

An informal, national favourite of flame-grilled meat gets franchised with Chesa Nyama.

Braai Day Take-Away

Vital Stats

  • Company  Chesa Nyama
  • Established  February 2012
  • Contact person  Belinda Jordaan
  • Call  +27 (0)12 665 2947
  • Visit

The Founders

Stelio Nathanael (MD) and Praxia Nathanael (CEO) are well versed in the food industry. Stelio has been involved in the food game since he was 16, is MD of Gold Brands, the holding company of three food brands, and has now founded Chesa Nyama, a flame-grilled meat take-away franchise.

“I started Chesa Nyama at Wits in February 2012, and it was so popular we franchised that April.”

The Concept

“Everyone knows South Africans are meat lovers, we even have a word for it, ‘braai-mania’, but I noticed that the grilled meat market was very informal and fast food didn’t cater toward this niche of proper flame-grilled meat — it was either burgers, pizza or chicken,” Stelio says. “I knew from experience that high quality products at affordable prices would make the concept work across wide LSM markets.”

Developing the idea

Chesa Nyama offers flame-grilled, A-grade meat that can be served with traditional pap and gravy, or chips. “In order to keep prices affordable and maintain quality, we cut out the middleman. We go straight to the abattoir, we portion and vacuum-pack the meat in our own central kitchen, then it goes to our franchisees at wholesale prices, helping them turn a profit.” Chesa-Nyama-Bucket

Growing the brand

“We’re fortunate that braai meat is already very popular and it’s something people are used to. So we’ve paid attention to formalising the concept and implementing systems and operations. As a result we’ve grown the brand to over 100 stores nationwide already, and believe the market can support another 200 stores before we venture into Africa, although we already have stores in Botswana and Zimbabwe.”

Moving Forward

Chesa Nyama has recently become the national sponsor of Boxing SA for the next three years. “To keep the brand growing we’re looking to expand further into rural and urban centres around the country. We have the experience with franchising and training, so we are looking for franchisees who don’t need food experience but are prepared to be hands on, work hard and follow the systems.”

The Model

“Product prices are low, and so we like to keep franchisees’ rentals between 7% to 10% of turnover, helping them turn a profit.” To make this happen, Nathanael exercises his extensive network of landlords with whom he has good relationships. Franchisees are offered sites in their preferred areas and the lease is negotiated for them.

New franchisees are supported by head office training, and an operations consultant works with them for the first seven days of opening, monitoring their ability, progress and providing support.

  • The initial franchise fee covers everything from shop fitting, signage and training, to opening stock.
  • The brand provides national marketing on radio and in print ads, as well as promotions and individual marketing for new stores. “All design work is done free of charge by our designers. Franchisees only pay printing costs.”
  • The timing from signing the franchise agreement to opening your store is four to six weeks, including practical and theory training at a college store in Centurion.

Investment Capital

  • Franchise fees: A turnkey operation is R499 000 Incl Vat
  • Fixed royalty: R2 750 excl Vat per month
  • ROI: Depending on rental is 12 to 16 months
  • Ideal store size:  80m2.
Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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