Spur Steak Ranches

The results of our research not only surprised our client, but ultimately led to wholesale operational changes.

What: Family Steakhouse chain
Where: South African, expanding globally


Has 290 restaurants worldwide.
Rivals Nando's for numbers in South Africa.
Entered UK in 1994 and currently has 6 UK sites


Spur is the most successful steakhouse franchise in South Africa with a hugely loyal, family-oriented customer base. They recently entered the UK market and, with six initial sites, wanted to make sure they put the right foundations in place to build an enduring UK brand. They asked Insight Solutions for in-depth information on the steakhouse market, their place in this market, what competitors were doing right and their current customer demographics.


Our extensive intelligence gathering included mystery dining, on-street and online surveys, as well as a full evaluation of competitor service levels and the general trading environment of each premises – including demographics, dining habits, reasons for choice and concept awareness. Among the many unexpected insights, some that stood out were that:

  • Casual dining habits and expectations varied significantly from region to region
  • Even though it was a new brand to the UK, many customers felt the concept was a little dated
  • In some places, Spur was attracting adults and couples as much as families – despite marketing targeting the latter


Spur took on board research data and refined their menu, menu layout, branding and tag line – staying ahead of the game with the confidence of consumer input.

Operationally they remain a family-oriented brand but they’re taking a far more location-tailored approach to each site. For example, in one of the newer locations they’re targeting couples and forgoing the installation of a kids’ play area – saving initial capex investment.

‘The research carried out by Insight Solutions really identified how we could enhance our service offering for the UK market – such as customising our strategy for each of our locations. We’re pleased to report we’re already seeing growth in sales and positive customer feedback from the changes implemented.’ Pierre Van Tonder, Chief Executive Officer