Famous Brands

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Famous Brands Limited
Traded as JSE: FBR
Founded 1960s
Founder George Halamandres
Headquarters Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Number of locations
2,163 (2013)
Area served
South Africa, rest of Africa, United Kingdom
Key people
  • Panayioti Halamandaris (Chairman)
  • Kevin Hedderwick (CEO)
Revenue R2.5 billion (2013)
R480 million (2013)

Famous Brands Limited is a public company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in South Africa. Its head offices are in Midrand, Johannesburg. The company is Africa's leading quick-service and casual dining restaurant franchisor. The company's global footprint of franchised stores spreads across the world, totalling 2,163 stores (2013): South Africa 1,881, rest of Africa 172, United Kingdom 110 (2013). Besides its core business activities of quick service and casual dining, the company is also involved in manufacturing and logistics.


George "Senior" Halamandres, also known as Uncle George, brought new ideas to South Africa relating to the food industry he found while travelling in America. He successfully built and operated approximately 100 stores country wide, ranging from steak houses and take-away stores. Halamandres was one of the first entrepreneurs to bring "franchising" to the country, a concept already established in America. Together with the stores, Halamandres also operated a sauce factory which supplied sauces to his stores.

  • 1971: Uncle George brings Panayiotis (the oldest Halamandaris brother) from Greece to South Africa.
  • 1972: Panayiotis buys the Bellevue store from Uncle George and operates the store independently under his control.
  • 1974: Theofanis (the second oldest Halamandaris brother) emigrates from Greece to South Africa. Theofanis then works at supermarkets for the first year.
  • 1975: Panayiotis leaves South Africa and returns to Greece. Theofanis, buys and takes over Bellevue from Panayiotis.
  • 1976: George "Junior" Halamandres (Uncle George's oldest son) passes away; this causes severe emotional trauma to Uncle George and he starts to lose interest in the food industry.
  • 1976–1980: Theofanis continues to innovate and develop his store, improving every aspect from quality of the food to service to operations. It is during this period where the foundations of the store are engineered with passion and precision. Future stores were born from the blueprint of this "mother" store.
  • 1980: Panayiotis from Greece and Periklis from Australia (the third oldest Halamandaris brother) arrive in South Africa for Theofanis’ wedding. Together, they decide to expand the business and Panayiotis and Periklis are to return to South Africa in the near future.
  • 1981: Periklis emigrates to South Africa and the two brothers open the second store in Yeoville.
  • 1983: Panayiotis returns to South Africa and so does his wisdom and leadership that proves to be invaluable. The three brothers open the third store in Sandton City shopping mall, a serious store with serious power which boosts their business to the next level.
  • 1984: Uncle George sees the success of the three brothers and their three stores. He proposes that the time has come for the two families to join: Panayiotis, Theofanis and Periklis with their three stores and John Halamandres (Uncle George’s youngest son) with the sauce factory, which was his only remaining business at that time. The agreement is made and the 2 families merge into a single “four core member unit”, each member contributing their own strengths: Panayiotis finances, Theofanis operations, Periklis franchising and John marketing. The unit agrees on certain principles from the start and are to be always adhered to: ethical business conduct, continues innovation, hard work, every member will have their independent and specific duties, no member will criticise or comment on another member, every member will always do their best, no wives will be included in the business and 100% trust between the members.
  • 1986: Babis (the youngest Halamandaris brother) emigrates to South Africa to join and help in the businesses the core members have built.
  • 1986–1994: The now five core member unit focuses 100% on the expansion and success of the business, no diversions and business only.
  • 1994: The five core members take the company public on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on 9 November 1994 at the IPO price of R1 under the company name Steers Holdings Limited. The company was later renamed Famous Brands Limited.
  • 2000: The business is at a level now where the pressures and demands of the company are significantly bigger and require more power. The members decide to add to their core and open their door to additional management and expertise, one of them being the Kevin Hedderwick.
  • 2010: Through time, the calibre of person that Kevin is, is shown. Theofanis officially hands over the wheel to Kevin as the CEO of the company.
  • 2012: Listed in 1994 at R1, the company hits a share price of R74 in August 2012. From one store worth very little to over 2,000 stores and a company worth in excess of R6 billion. Every brand held by Famous Brands Limited is the leader in their category. Voted as the “First and Overall Winner” in the Financial Mail Top 20 Companies. Famous Brands Limited is now the “big boy”.
  • 2013: The stock price hits R100 in August 2013.


A map illustrating the location and number of Famous Brand's 1,861 outlets in each country that it operates across the world in 2011.
Total number of restaurants in February 2013[1]
Brand South Africa International Total
Steers 503 43 546
Wimpy (restaurant) 490 29 519
Wimpy UK 0 110 110
Debonairs Pizza 344 60 404
House of Coffees 15 0 15
Brazilian Café 55 0 55
tashas 10 0 10
Mugg & Bean 133 8 141
FishAways 132 9 141
House of Coffees 17 17
Blacksteer Home of Shisanyama 5 0 5
Blacksteer 1 0 1
O'Hagan's 8 3 11
McGinty’s 1 0 1
KEG 20 1 21
Giramundo 14 0 14
Vovo Telo 12 0 12
Milky Lane 59 16 75
Juicy Lucy 8 1 9
The Brewers Guild 8 0 8
Creative Coffees 8 0 8
Net Café 1 0 8
Europa 25 1 26
Fego Caffé 29 1 30
Total 1,881 282 2,163


  1. ^ "FBR: 2013 Annual Report". Famous Brands. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 

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