Bars/pubs were significantly affected by the emergence of the Beta and the Delta variants in South Africa, which led to the reinstatement of restrictions that temporarily banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in January 2021, as well as between 28 June and 25 July 2021. Operators were also subject to curfews that compelled them to sometimes close as early as 20:00hrs, leading to increased losses as such outlets usually remained open to 02:00hrs prior to the pandemic.
As mid- and high-income consumers remained secluded at home, operators of cafés repositioned their services as suitable work locations. The shift was particularly beneficial for Mugg & Bean, as the brand leveraged its extensive footprint of over 230 outlets, a generous concept built around bottomless coffee and large meal portions, as well as free wi-fi.
Rand Capital Coffee made headlines by developing an aggressive expansion strategy for the Starbucks specialist coffee shop, following the brand’s acquisition from Taste Holdings in December 2019. Initially set to add 30 new stores by March 2022, the company has leveraged its economies of scale to continue gaining momentum.
The recovery of bars/pubs is expected to gain further momentum from 2022, as the government eases restrictions in response to the improved penetration of vaccination rates in South Africa. Foodservice value sales (at constant 2021 prices) are predicted to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, although the number of outlets is likely to remain lower.
The forecast period will see intensified competition in specialist coffee shops as the economy improves in line with greater mobility, enabling brands to expand their footprint. The trend will be consolidated by strategic partnerships such as Starbucks and Shoprite, which is set to increase awareness while improving penetration in terms of proximity to households.
The adoption of digital services across cafés and specialist coffee shops towards the end of the review period is expected to persist, supported by further internet penetration, momentum gained by on-demand delivery services and expansion of mobile apps featuring loyalty programmes. The trend will also benefit from the influx of new entrants such as Bold Food delivery services, with such a move likely to give room to dark kitchen models around business parks to remain relevant.
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This category encompasses all establishments where the focus is on drinking (either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages). While a wide variety of snacks and full meals are offered, it is not uncommon for consumers to only order a drink. As a general rule, establishments deriving 50% of their income or more from the sale of drinks are included here.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Cafés/Bars research and analysis database.
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