The business principle of franchising seems to have been around since man started trading. The very word ‘franchising’ is derived from an old French word meaning ‘privilege’ or ‘freedom’. It is linked to the granting of licenses to collect taxes for either protection, goods, and or utilities. Did you know that South Africa franchising’s economic output as a percentage of GDP ranks in the top five worldwide? With its contribution to GDP at 15,3% (in 2017), South Africa’s franchise sector is up there with France, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. And that’s why we show you 10 food franchises that cost less than 1 million to open in South Africa.

We will start our list with the cheapest food franchises to the most expensive.

1. Chip N Dip From R50 000

Chip ‘n Dip was born in 1995 in Cape Town. The concept is simple in itself, with fried potato chips covered in delicious sauces, served in a unique cone-shaped container. Chip ‘n Dip originally started out as a mobile vending concept and grew into stores, both stand-alone and Co-Branded outlets. Today they boast a range of different products that can you can add to your Chip ‘n Dip, or sell on their own. This franchise is available in all South African provinces.

2. Hot Dog Cafe/ London Pie From R50 000

The combined Hot Dog Cafe / London Pie Franchise is a multi-award-winning franchise group with a proven track record offering various options to potential franchisees. This franchise is available nationwide.

3. Burger Perfect From R100 000

Following the great success of Pizza Perfect, the Burger Perfect brand was launched in 2007. Specializing in flame-grilled beef burgers, succulent BBQ Prime spare ribs, and delicious mouth-watering steak rolls. Now it has successful franchises nationwide.

4. King Pie Franchises From R120 000

King Pie was the initial establishment in 1993 and has been part of consumers’ lives for over 25 years with a strong South African heritage. Their products are famous for their quality, taste, wholesomeness, and value pricing. The King Pie franchise is without a doubt the biggest and most successful pie franchise with over 300 outlets in South Africa, and African countries like Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland.

King Pie Store

King Pie Store Concept

The King Pie Store model is the most versatile retail format size ranging between 25-40sqm depending on the retail space available. The outstanding design of these shops is to perform at their best in shopping centers, and high street locations. Preferably they must be around corner shops around or next to an anchor tenant with a high foot traffic area as a determining factor. All equipment and shop fitment is at the investment price.

The King Pie Express Unit:

King Pie Express Unit Concept

Is a ready-to-assemble unit with the throughput and capacity of a normal King Pie Store that can be deployed and commissioned anywhere within a day. This is a robust unit that you can expose to all types of weather conditions. The ±18m2 Express unit is designed in line with the King Pie Store concept. It is manufactured from a heavy-duty and reinforced material. This unit includes the standard King Pie Store equipment. The only requirement is a water and electricity connection, preferably 3-phase.

King Pie Kiosk:

King Pie Kiosk Concept

Is a modular system that is easy to assemble in shopping centers. The concept is ideally suitable to be in passageways, under staircases, and on escalators. The design of this unit is customizable in relation to the space available as well as the access to the unit i.e. we can move the displays around. Assembly takes 2 – 4 hours. The footprint needed is 3m x3m. The power requirement is 15-25 Amp single phase (equipment dependent). Plugs as required for equipment. A water connection is the only requirement for the coffee and mash & gravy machines. An area must be available to bake the product to ensure a sufficient supply of pies.

The King Pie Mobile Kiosk:

King Pie Mobile Kiosk Concept

The mobile kiosk is an extension of an existing King Pie store or kiosk. The kiosk is mobile and fitted with all required equipment to sell pies and soft drinks or coffee. Only 6 square meters in size, the mobile kiosk is perfectly suited to be positioned in passageways in shopping centers. The unit is fitted with a GAAP POS system and has ample storage space for soft drinks and packaging. The overhead cost of the mobile kiosk is very low in comparison with ta normal outlet, making this a fantastic investment opportunity, and will be a great addition to an existing King Pie outlet.

5. Cafe2go From R285 000

Cafe2go is proudly BORN, BUILT, OWNED, AND FRANCHISED in South Beautiful Africa. They are well established in Gauteng, Western Cape, and KZN and service local and national clients. They stand for quality coffee at a fair price and positioned themselves as the ideal coffee & deli solution provider using custom-built coffee trailers (for the great outdoors), corporate coffee delis (high traffic indoor settings), and garages (coffee lovers on the go!).

6. H2O | BWT From R500 000

The Water Business Is Booming! Now Is The Time To Jump In With The Leader – H2O International SA.

Join H2O | BTW and become part of their success story. As an H2O International franchisee, you will receive the full support of the dedicated H2O International head office team.

H2O International SA was founded in 1994 by Tony Marchesini. Today we have over 65 franchises and stockists and have emerged as the leading force in water purification on the African continent. Their successful network of branches now spans the entire African continent, with Franchises as far as Kenya and Nigeria. Tony’s dedication to providing South Africans with only the purest water and air is what the company’s position statement: It’s what’s inside that counts encompasses. You won’t go wrong with water business franchises.

7. Fish & Chip Co From R599 000


The Fish & Chip Co started as a small business in 2009 and today serves fresh and tasty fish and chips to thousands of consumers across South Africa.

This food outlet is one of the fastest-growing and most popular fast food businesses and as nominated in the top 10 in the Fast-Food Restaurant category for the Sunday Times Top Brand 2015 & 2016 awards. The Fish & Chip Co is the award-winning “Readers Choice Best Fish & Chip franchise 2020” by Independent and The Star newspapers – This is a testament to the potential and popularity of the brand.

Over the years, The Fish & Chip Co has built a reputation for serving generous portions of fish and fresh-cut chips at affordable prices. Customers will enjoy a delicious menu including our traditional fish and chips and mouthwatering Russians.

The Fish & Chip Co offers one of the lowest set-up costs in its market as well as low fixed royalties and quick return on investment.

8. Kauai Franchises From R605 000

Kauai has been operating now for over 21 years, with the group structure now being under the multi-brand food group, Real Foods (Pty) Ltd, with the mission to make healthy eating easy and accessible. At Kauai, they are passionate about health and well-being, which means they bring to their customers real food that is, where possible, free of GMOs and has no additives, preservatives, processing of any kind, artificial colorants, and flavorings. They are aiming to inspire a ‘real food’ revolution in South Africa, where Kauai is the ‘better place’ to be.

They make healthy eating accessible and exciting which is talking to the ever-growing number of South Africans who are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of healthy eating. Their current sales growth highlights this trend and they believe they are at the start of what will be a global change in the way people eat and are best placed in SA’s casual dining arena to benefit from this current and future aggressive growth. Our menu includes a variety of healthy breakfasts, superfood smoothies, nutrient-dense raw juices, signature wraps, salads, hot bowls, and various meals as well as Barista brewed coffees and teas.

9. Sausage Saloon From R700 000

Their first store opened in October 1997 in Alberton City. Sausage Saloons has now been trading successfully for over 24 years. Opportunities throughout Southern Africa & Internationally.

10. SUBWAY From R800 000

SUBWAY® is the #1 restaurant chain in total restaurant count with more locations than anyone else in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry.

11. Debonais Pizza Franchises From R900 000

Debonairs has 30 years of experience in the pizza and restaurant business. As a franchisee, they’ll be there to help you every step of the way. Not just with the initial phase, but also throughout your journey as a franchisee. We offer support and advice, so your restaurant can grow and be successful.

12. Zebros Franchises From R900 000

The founder of Zebros believes that the combination of his secret recipe and the traditional braai method will bring people together and since opening the first store in Caledon in 1998, Zebro’s has been serving its unique chicken meals to South Africans.

Zebro’s promise is to serve quality, value-for-money chicken meals to every customer.

The simplicity of the product range has resulted in the lowest new-store establishment cost in its category

13. Pizza Perfect From R950 000

Born in Johannesburg in the late 80s, Pizza Perfect started as a traditional Pizza Pasta outlet. In the early 90s chicken was introduced to our outlets, cooked in our traditional wood-burning oven for a healthy delicious experience. Pizza Perfect has over 90 successful outlets nationwide.

14. Anat From R950 000

The ANAT Franchise group is one of South Africa’s leading fast-food franchise chains and has developed a sound foundation of business policies and procedures that will give your business the best chance of success

So there you have it. If you want to start a food franchise, this blog was just a basic step in your research. You can use the links provided above to know more and go in-depth with these franchises on our list. We wish you good luck and a profitable business. God bless.

Except for franchises, here are other ways you can make money in South Africa and worldwide. Click here.

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