Today's top entrepreneurship and business stories (21 April)

Here are the big winners from FASA's franchising awards, alcohol and coffee sales continue to grow despite tough times, and more


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Here are the big winners from FASA's franchising awards
The Franchise Association of South Africa’s (FASA) Awards for Excellence in Franchising which celebrates the success of the country' franchisors and franchisees, were held last week. 

The night's big winner was OBC Chicken & Meat who won the Franchisor of the Year award for the second year running. With over 60 franchised stores countrywide, the brand enjoys a strong brand presence.

The Franchisee of the Year award went to Madelein van Staden of Placecol Skin Care Clinic, Elardus Park, Pretoria.

Other awards included The Newcomer Franchisor of the Year category which went to Burger Bistro and which has since its launch in 2012, grown to four outlets employing a total of 55 people; with an average growth in turnover of 20% per franchised outlet for the past 12 months.  

The Leading Developer of Emerging Entrepreneurs category was developed by FASA to encourage growth in BEE franchisors and franchisees. The winner of this catergory was Hot Dog Cafe. Sorbet walked away with the Job Creator of the Year award. The franchise brand has over 150 stores across South Africa and employs close to 1 500 skilled and experienced therapists, hair stylists and nail technicians

Alcohol and coffee sales continue to grow despite tough times
The latest data from Statistics SA shows that total income from the food and beverage sector increased 3.4% year on year in February, to R3.2 billion.

The growth in the sector was led by a 9.4% rise in bar sales, while income from restaurants and coffee shops climbed 5.3%.

Restaurants and coffee shops in particular have benefited from a changing coffee culture. Large investments have been made by domestic and international companies trying to catch the artisan coffee wave before it peaks and crests.

Yesterday, Taste Holdings will opened the first Starbucks store in SA at the Rosebank Mall.

Grand Parade Investments, having signed a franchise agreement with Nasdaq-listed Dunkin’ Brands, intends to open as many as 250 Dunkin’ Donuts and 70 Baskin Robbins stores this year. (Bizcommunity)

High food prices will not curb tourism growth 
Rising food price inflation which is currently driving the increase in operating costs will not severely affect the tourism sector due to its continued resilience and increasing foreign arrivals boosted by the weak Rand.   

The latest figures from the TBCSA Tourism Business Index (TBI) revealed that the sector performed steadily in the first quarter of the year regardless of tough business conditions. 

Charnel Kara, Tourism Specialist at FNB Business, says the recent drought which has led to a surge in food prices, coupled with broader economic challenges are placing strain on the bottom line of many tourism operators. The situation is further exacerbated by a drop in domestic tourism activities and high operating costs, driven by factors such as increasing electricity tariffs and high labour costs. 

"Despite the current challenges, the travel and tourism sector is still showing strong performance, especially in accommodation occupancy rates which are being driven by foreign and regional arrivals," says Kara. 

Although the industry is experiencing a slowdown in domestic activities due to tough economic conditions forcing consumers to cut back on spending and luxuries, high food costs will not be a negative factor for foreign visitors due to the weakness of the Rand against major international currencies. 

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