If you want a good deal at Steers or Mugg & Bean, try going for breakfast, not dinner

Business Insider SA

  • You’re more likely to score a deal on a breakfast or lunch meal when you visit some Famous Brands restaurants these days.
  • With fewer patrons visiting restaurants at night because of pandemic-related restrictions, the company is now focusing on promotions during the day.
  • Its casual dining restaurants such as Mythos, Mugg & Bean, and Turn n Tender have been hard hit by restrictions.
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Famous Brands, which owns restaurant chains such as Steers, Wimpy, and Mugg & Bean, has started running more promotions during breakfast and lunch as fewer people opt to dine-in at night due to government-imposed government curfews.

As a result of reduced trading hours, Famous Brands has been working on redesigning its menus and is now focusing more on breakfast and lunch promotions, the company said in its interim financial results for the end of August 2021

“Reduced trading hours in South Africa… has required a renewed focus on lunch and breakfast promotions,” Famous Brands said.

Since Covid-19 surfaced in the country in March 2020, South Africa has had a curfew in place, commencing at various times in the evening, with the earliest starting at 20:00 at one point. This also means that restaurants must close much earlier, at least an hour before the curfew kicks in.

Between March and June 2021, indoor capacity was limited to 100 people or 50% of the available capacity and 50 people between June and August. For the first week of July, sit-down dining was barred entirely.

Famous Brands said it has seen a significant drop in the frequency of dining at its casual dining restaurants such as Turn n Tender, Mythos, and Mugg & Bean, driven by people working from home. To compound its struggles, the economic impact of the pandemic also eroded consumer spending power resulting in consumers generally eating out less due to the financial constraints.

Although the company made a recovery in its revenues which increased 50% to R3 billion, it’s still 16% lower than what it was during the same period in 2019 before the pandemic. During the six months to the end of August 2020, its revenue dropped 48% to R2 billion.

Trading activity remains muted due to restrictions related to sit-down dining such as seating capacity, trading times, and alcohol sales, the company said.

Instead, it said that most consumers prefer options with limited contact, such as takeaways delivery and the remote ordering trend is gaining momentum.

“For many brands, we continue to operate with reduced menus to simplify restaurant operations without compromising consumer choice. We continue our menu engineering principles to improve delivery menus to ensure that consumers receive the best quality take away product,” said Famous Brands.

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