The Galito’s franchise is home of the bold African Piri-Piri flavour, and is firing up the world.
The story began in the Mpumalanga city of Mbombela (Nelspruit) when the first Galito’s restaurant opened its doors in 1996.
Within a few short years, the powerful combination of great tasting chicken, excellent service and pride, had made Galito’s a Lowveld favourite and huge business success. By mid-2002, founder Louis Germishuys had opened a closely-knit family of eight restaurants. Then during 2003, Germishuys took the decision to expand, and his branding and franchising efforts took off in earnest.
Galito’s has continued to expand and now operates in more than 16 countries internationally, with 163 stores and counting across Africa (15 stores in Kenya), into Malaysia, Pakistan, the UAE, India, Canada and most recently Kazakhstan with two more countries confirmed for 2020.
Global growth, however, is not Germishuys’ primary vision. “It’s certainly a highlight and something of which I’m very proud. I’m amazed that our small brand from Mpumalanga has managed to do so well in such varied markets. But my vision is to remain accessible to everyone, from businessmen to the guys in overalls off the street,” he says.
Convinced that enormous growth is still possible locally, he says it is all dependent on price, position and product: “We can do it because we have the best product. We don’t outsource. We control our own central kitchens, which is important, otherwise you lose quality. “And if you’re not looking at your price you’re going to be in trouble because the economy is struggling – it’s rough out there and you’ve just got to be competitive, but you can’t be competitive by providing an inferior product. So, you have to be better at everything you do.”
And then it’s location, location, location.
“Product is everything in our business. All our sauces are still made from fresh ingredients using the original recipe and with no artificial ingredients. Lemons are still being zested, chillies are still being chopped. I’m absolutely pedantic about providing great food in every store and proud of it.”
The central kitchen, where every sauce and marinade is created from scratch and sent out to Galito’s stores worldwide, is still situated in Mbombela, another fact that Germishuys is proud of, and the one he believes is the secret to the brand’s success.
The menu has been carefully crafted to cater for a broad range of customers, using only the best ingredients in Galito’s original marinade recipe. Each chicken is carefully marinated for a minimum of 24 hours and then flame-grilled, ensuring the authentic flavours of Galito’s are retained and enjoyed daily.
Galito’s is an example of a strong, stable South African franchise investment that has stood the test of time, constantly innovating to include different store formats from casual dining and take-away to food court, drive-thru and fuel station models.
Galipods were launched in 2016: full-service stores built in a container that can be placed anywhere, including rural areas.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs who couldn’t open a full store, or where there’s no mall to do so. With the Galipods, you can throw down concrete anywhere, put down the container, and you’re in business. There’s also less risk for the franchisees because we can buy back the containers to deploy elsewhere should things not work out.” The Galipods have the same look and feel as stores, and have an average turnover of R120 000 – R170 000 per month, as opposed to stores’ +/-R500 000. The aim is to open 98 more stores in South Africa by 2025, bringing the total to 200 local sites.
“It’s ambitious, yes, but we’re well on our way. We’re opening four more this year, including in Port Elizabeth — completely new territory for us.”
The strategy is simple – welcome all guests with local hospitality, warmth and the promise of great memories made over great meals: “Our future is bright. No matter where you are in South Africa or the world, home is where Galito’s is.”