Famous Brands, owner of restaurant chains including Steers and Wimpy, on Monday reported negligible revenue for a period of five weeks as it gears up for the start of delivery-only services in some markets.
The majority of its restaurants have been closed since mid-March, in line with lockdowns implemented in South Africa, the rest of Africa and the Middle East and the United Kingdom.
Its manufacturing and logistics operations have also been closed, with the exception of some direct sales to the retail market and one manufacturing plant with essential-supplier status which supplies potato products, it said in a trading update statement.
On May 1, it said it had started reopening a limited number of restaurants for delivery-only services in a phased programme.
In South Africa, it opened its Steers, Wimpy, Debonairs Pizza, Fishaways and a few Wimpy and Mugg & Bean chains.
Its sit-in only restaurants will trial a few delivery-only services.
South Africa took its first shaky steps on Friday towards rolling back one of the world’s strictest Covid-19 lockdowns, seeking a balance between containing the disease and providing much-needed relief for the economy.
In the first phase, only some sectors may restart operations, and with limited staff.
Restaurants, for example, can now resume business, but only for food deliveries.
In the UK, GBK Restaurants started reinstating limited delivery services in a few restaurants from April 29, while its restaurants in Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, UAE, Zambia and Zimbabwe continue to trade, albeit with limited services.
“While management is hopeful that these trading activities might provide a much-needed boost to revenue and morale, the viability of this limited delivery offering remains to be proved,” Famous Brands said.