7 Mc Causland Cres, Umhlanga.
Call 031 561 9011
I fear for the future of chef-owned restaurants. With the the high cost of running a restaurant is it only franchise operations that can survive? And are they serving the cause of fine food?
There are around 23 Cattle Baron franchise restaurants in South Africa. Most of them in the Cape. Their first in KwaZulu Natal, has just opened in the Pearls in Umhlanga.
Depressing because Umhlanga is becoming wall-to-wall franchise restaurants and it seems there is less and less room for the individually-owned eatery. Probably due to exorbitant rents and running costs. How can a one-man operation compete against the might of the Spur Corporation, Famous Brands, and Taste Holdings, all major players in the restaurant industry.
Depressing because the whole concept of franchises is to keep costs down and profits high and the only way to do this is to compromise on food. It’s strict portion control, pre-coooking and cooking by numbers. Little inspiration here.
Depressing because the last three mediocre meals I ordered recently have been in franchise restaurants.
But Cattle Baron is the one that convinced me. If you eat at a steakhouse, eat steak. That’s common sense. The seafood, chicken and vegetarian options are concessions to those who, unwillingly, find themselves at steakhouses. Like a work colleague’s farewell or a friend’s birthday celebration.