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IndustryFood and Beverage service
GenreTake-Aways and Diners
FounderGeorge Halamandres
Number of locations
Area served
ParentFamous Brands Ltd

Steers is one of South Africa’s most recognizable quick-service restaurant brands. The company is well known for serving burgers and chips. Other menu items include chicken burgers, ribs as well as ice cream and milkshakes.


The history of the company revolves around the Halamandaris family, whose family members are still part of the executive team today, with extensive experience in the food and franchising industries.

Steers founder, George Halamandress had a vision to create a successful family-run business and the idea for Steers originated while he was on holiday in the United States where he came across innovative food industry concepts and ideas. He decided to bring these new food industry methods to South Africa, which was the starting point for the creation of a brand that would grow from strength to strength.

Uncle George, as he was affectionately known, created the original Milky Lane ice cream parlours, followed in quick succession by the first South African steakhouse (the Rosebank Golden Spur), the Seven Steers steakhouse in Highlands North and the Black Steer in Yeoville in the early 1960s. He was also one of the first entrepreneurs to bring the franchising concept to South Africa.

After Uncle George died in 1984, leadership of the chain passed to his nephews Peter, Theo, and their brother, Perry, as well as to Uncle George's youngest son, John. The three brothers had all been operating their own franchises and John was operating the manufacturing business, supplying Steers outlets and other retailers. Together, they re-engineered the brand and actively sought new franchisees. The early 1980s saw the opening of Steers in Sandton City, which attracted interest from would-be franchisees, and this encouraged the team behind Steers to launch their franchise programme.[1]

There seemed to be no shortage of prospective franchisees wanting to buy into their franchise model, and more than 15 Steers outlets had opened within two years, with this number growing to 250 stores 10 years later.

By the end of the 1990s, Steers started expanding beyond South Africa, and outlets opened in Swaziland (now Eswatini), Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Tanzania and Ivory Coast. The name Steers evolved over the years too, starting with Golden Spur, then changing to Seven Steer, followed by Branded Steer and Longhorn Steer, before becoming Steers.

Steers Holdings listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in November 1994, and in 2001 changed its name to Famous Brands Limited. This reflected the diversity of the Famous Brands group portfolio, although Steers remained the icon brand within the group.

The brand has continued to prosper and currently has over 600 Steers restaurants worldwide.[2] By attracting new consumers as well as increasing the consumption frequency of existing customers, Steers succeeded in reaching their target of double-digit system-wide sales growth in 2012.[3]

In the late 80s the Comitis family, who owned the Steers rights in the Western Cape, continued to grow the brand throughout Southern Africa. After decades of growth Steers became the most prominent fast food company in Southern Africa and the Comitis family sold the share equity back to the Famous Brands parent company.



In 1983, Steers launched a new franchise programmer.[4] The owners placed a single advertisement in a local newspaper inviting franchisees to apply, and since then Steers has never had a shortage of prospective franchisees seeking to buy into the franchise. Within two years there were more than 15 outlets opened, and this number grew to 250 stores ten years later. By the end of the 90s Steers started expanding beyond South Africa’s borders, with outlets in Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Tanzania and Ivory Coast. There are over 500 franchises across Africa. A Steers restaurant opened on Lavender Hill, Battersea, London, UK in late July 2013.[5][6] Although as of 2022, this has now been closed


For 17 years in a row, Steers has been recognized by well-known Johannesburg listing magazine, Leisure Options, for serving the Best Hamburger in the QSR industry. Steers has also won ‘best chips’ for 13 years running.[7][8]

Steers Holdings Limited was, later renamed Famous Brands Limited.


  • Flame-Grilled, It Just Tastes Better (current)
  • Real Burgers
  • Real Food Made Real Good

Countries with Steers Restaurants[edit]

  South Africa
  Countries with Steers Restaurants

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our History | Steers". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  2. ^ "600 Flames | Steers". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  3. ^ "In the Zone with MWEB Entrepreneur: The Steers story". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  4. ^ "Our History | Steers". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  5. ^ "Entrepreneur Magazine » Steers: Ruan Buys » Print". 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  6. ^ "A New Flame in Town". 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  7. ^ "Best Chips in Joburg – Steers | Best of Joburg". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2012-11-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]