There’s a New Restaurant Franchise in Town

Posted on April 20th, 2017
Articles Franchising

There's a New Restaurant Franchise in Town


In February this year franchising company, Gold Brands, announced that it had concluded a franchising deal with UK restaurant operator Casual Dining Group (CDG).

As part of the deal Gold Brands is bringing UK restaurant chain Las Iguanas, as well as others from CDG including Café Rouge, Belgo and Bella Italia to South Africa, adding to its expanding portfolio which already includes Chesanyama, Blacksteer, 1+1 Pizza Pasta, Opa!Pitaland and Chicken Wild Wings.

Stelio Nathanael, chief operating officer of Gold Brands believes the Latin American mid-market dining chain will fit in well within the South African market.

“South Africans are always hungry for new places to dine, and Las Iguanas will fill the gap with this well established concept,” he said in an interview with Independent News.

The move holds several opportunities for the company, Gold Brands CEO Praxia Nathanael says: “This deal follows the consolidation of our Chesanyama store base, which will see us enhance the quality of our franchise network and deliver the best possible experience to our customers. With this process in place, combined with CDG’s proven concepts, we see exciting growth opportunities for the company.”

The restaurant chain is already doing well in the UK – from a single store in Bristol established in 1991, they now have over 50 outlets across major cities including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool. Originally founded by Eren Ali and Jaya-Wickrema, Las Iguanas was sold to CDG in 2015.

Las Iguanas franchises are already available for sale on the Gold Brands website. To find out if this is the right opportunity for you, here are the details about the chain and its expected rollout in the country.

TIMELINE: Gold Brands announced that the first outlet in South Africa will open in June 2017 in Johannesburg, with a minimum of 20 opening across the country in the next five years.

THE MENU: According to Gold Brands, the food menu draws inspiration from flavours across South America. They serve Mexican, Brazilian and South American food.

Restaurant goers can expect a range of dishes featuring a large range of tacos, alongside a selection of Mexican classics and tapas style small plates, as well as burgers. Also on the menu are a selection of classic Latin cocktails and mocktails, along with a range of South American wines and beers.

OPERATING HOURS: Las Iguanas will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, with specials added daily. They also have a children’s menu.

THE DECOR: According to the Gold Brands website, franchisees can choose from the following range of interior styles, designed by top UK architects and designers, that capture the spirit of Las Iguanas:

  • High end
  • Urban cool
  • Shabby chic


  • Set up cost: R15 000 per square meter
  • Area required: +-250sq.m
  • Joining fee: R200 000
  • Royalties: 6% p.c.m.
  • Marketing: 4% p.c.m.

*Information on the menu, decor and and cost breakdown obtained from the Gold Brands website.