This South African fast-food empire started in a garage in Mbombela
- Galito’s founder Louis Germishuys said his passion for chicken was born when he visited Mozambique at the age of ten.
- Today Galito’s has over 149 stores in 17 countries, including South Africa, India, Pakistan and Canada.
- Germishuys said the company’s secret is cheaper franchising opportunities, affordable prices and ensuring quality.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.
Regularly visits to Mozambique with his friend’s Portuguese family led to Louis Germishuys developing a passion for chicken at the tender age of ten.
Germishuys would go on found Galito’s Chicken which today has over 149 stores in 17 countries, including South Africa, India, Pakistan and Canada.
He said his sheer passion for chicken led to his success.
“[My friends’ family] emphasis on savouring and sharing meals led me to discover a deep appreciation for the traditional flavours of the original chicken recipes,” Germishuys said.
After studying cooking at the Wits hotel school for a year, Germishuys worked in the fast food industry for several years before finding Galito’s in 1996.
He said by that time he worked up the courage to become an entrepreneur, and moved his dad car out of their garage in Mbombela, where he developed Galito’s chicken recipe - which is used to this day.
“I finally decided to break away and really focus on creating the food I loved.”
Galito’s quickly expanded to three outlets, and by the time the fourth was opened in Polokwane, Germishuys started offering franchise opportunities.
He said Galito’s secret is the ability to open new stores for only R1.5 million, while ensuring good returns. Opening a Chicken Licken store costs roughly R3 million, a McDonald's store R4 million and a Nando’s R6.56 million.
Germishuys said for every store opened, it is important to provide the same level of service and atmosphere whether it is in a city or a rural community.
“The price of the chicken is the same in cities and small towns so it's very important to us that the stores are the same standard too.”
He said the company makes sure that all marinades and sauces are made in its own central kitchens and never outsourced.
Germishuys also tries to keep prices affordable. "You can’t sell for R80 if all a person has is R50, so we as franchisors are hard on suppliers.”
In the next three years, Germishuys hopes to open an additional 40 stores.
“I want Galito’s to be accessible to the whole of South Africa and not just to Sandton and Eastgate and Menlyn. I want to take it into Thaba Nchu, Lebogo and Umthatha,” he said.
"Our future is bright. No matter where you are in South Africa or the world, home is where Galito’s is."
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