This, according to Hedderwick, is following comments in the media as well as dialogue regarding the arrival of both Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza in South Africa.
[DATA TAS:Taste Holdings], which also manages the Scooter’s Pizza brand and chicken franchise, Zebro’s, recently announced its intention to bring Domino’s Pizza to the country.
“This is a long-term strategic decision that ultimately benefits Taste franchisees,” it said at the time of signing the 30-year master franchise agreement.
“Being part of a global and world-class brand provides access to a myriad of global resources including best operating practices, new product pipelines and very importantly, access to the Domino’s Pizza leading global online ordering platform.”
Pizza Hut, an American restaurant chain and international franchise, also announced its return, after leaving South Africa in 2008.
(WATCH VIDEO: Pizza Hut returns to S.Africa)
“Nothing energises me more than being involved in a good ‘scrap’ to defend our business, so my message to Messrs. [Randall] Blackford of Pizza Hut and [Carlo] Gonzaga of Scooters is very simple,” said Hedderwick.
“We will fight with every ounce of our resolve to protect not only our Debonairs Pizza market share, but also, and just as importantly, protect every single one of our franchise partners who have invested in the Debonairs Pizza brand.”
Debonairs Pizza, Steers, Wimpy, Mugg & Bean and FishAways are just some of the franchises under the [DATA FBR:Famous Brands] name with the integrated food services business chief executive emphasising the company’s attitude towards the competition experienced throughout its history.
“Debonairs Pizza is one of those existing brands and with its 23-year history, not just a ‘Johnny-come-lately pizza joint’. On the contrary we would claim that Debonairs Pizza pioneered take-home pizza as a category in South Africa as well as the concept of home delivery,” Hedderwick indicated.
“Our attitude to competition, which we have experienced throughout Famous Brands’ 50-year trading history, and prospered despite it, has always been that we welcome the contest but that none of our hard-earned market share is for sale.”
(READ MORE: Fast food outlets compete for a piece of the pie)
He further stated that Debonairs Pizza has over the years received many accolades as voted for by the South African public.
“Let the pizza wars begin and let’s allow the South African consumer to make the ultimate decision by voting for their favourite pizza brand with their wallets and their throats,” he said.