Café Rouge launched in 1989 in the UK offering French bistro style food in the mid-market section. Today it has more than 90 outlets and is one of the country's most recognised chains.

And it will arrive in South Africa this year thanks to a $64,000 (Rand 830,000) buy in by Gold Brands, which owns the Chesanyama and Black Steer brands.

It is paying a £50,000 up-front fee to the UK’s Casual Dining Group (CDG), which operates nearly 300 UK mid-market restaurant brands, include Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas.

The proposed franchise business for the South Africa would be operated and maintained by the Gold Brands, with strict adherence to the CDG’s business model.

The deal sees GBI pay CDS a royalty fee of 6 per cent of sales and £15,000 (Rand 241,000) for each restaurant opened.

“This is a long-term strategic decision that ultimately benefits Gold Brands as being part of a global and world-class brand will provide access to a host of global resources including best operating practices and new products,” the company said in a statement.

Casual Dining Group (CDG), which is backed by Apollo Global Management, envisages at least 20 openings over the next five years.

Gold Brands, which is based in Pretoria and is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s AltX board, operates five restaurant brands of its own, including 1+1 Pizza, Chicken Wild Wings, Blacksteer and Chesanyama.

Founded in 2012 by Stelio Nathanael and his wife Praxia, it has about 330 restaurants in South Africa and has been looking for international brands to accelerate its expansion.

Las Iguanas
Las Iguanas is a South American based restaurant brand which draws on the colour palette of the tropics, fresh and homely food and a vintage Latin culture. There are currently 55 operating restaurants in the UK.

Café Rouge
Café Rouge was launched in London in 1989. Today, Café Rouge is the only established French casual dining brand in the UK. It has 90 restaurants in the UK, and a newly opened site in Dubai, UAE.
Bella Italia

Bella Italia is a contemporary Italian dining experience, with over 110 restaurants, and more opening all the time, serving authentic Italian food coupled with generous portions means that Bella Italia has the formula for success.


Belgo is famed for its huge selection of Belgian beers and its range of mussel dishes. There are currently six company owned stores operating in the UK serving 300,000 customers every year.