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20140414 Carlo Gonzaga 210x137While fires were raging in the southern Cape Peninsula last week, Cape Town companies supported the volunteer firefighter services. Design4T launched a T-shirt and Domino's Pizza's Cape-based stores in Tableview and Vredekloof provided firefighters and volunteers with a continuous supply of pizza to sustain them during their battle.

Published in Endeavor SA Blog

20140414 Carlo Gonzaga 210x137The first four Domino’s Pizza stores were opened in SA in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town on October 30 2014, Taste Holdings said in a statement on Monday.

Taste had an exclusive master franchise agreement with Domino’s Pizza International, the company said.

With various sales records having been broken in the first full week of trade, sales in all four stores had more than exceeded the board’s expectations, Taste said.

Taste’s largest store served in excess of 3,000 pizza fans more than 5,000 pizzas in the first week and sales momentum across all four stores had continued into the second week since opening, the company said.

The group said it was in discussion with several prospective new multiple store franchisees who had expressed interest in building significant Domino’s Pizza store clusters both in SA and in other southern African markets.

At 3.51pm shares in Taste had surged 10.16% to R3.36. The stock reached a record high of R4.60 in January 2013.

Source: BDlive http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/retail/2014/11/17/taste-shares-soar-after-dominos-pizza-sales-exceed-expectations

Published in Endeavor SA Blog
Friday, 24 October 2014 10:50

TASTE HOLDINGS: Appetite for combat

20140414 Carlo Gonzaga 210x137TASTE, a small cap with big ambitions, has set a blistering pace since its listing in 2006, trebling the store numbers in its fold to over 630.

Founder and CE Carlo Gonzaga, and Endeavor Entrepreneur and Board member, is now readying Taste for its next growth phase, which should set off a battle in the pizza sector.

Well-armed for battle, Taste comes with the backing of global pizza giant Domino’s through a 30-year master franchise agreement. Taste takes on the 500-store Debonairs Pizza of market leader Famous Brands and Pizza Hut of US group Yum! Brands, which has just re-entered the SA market.

Famous Brands CE Kevin Hedderwick has thrown down the gauntlet, proclaiming in a hard-hitting release: “Let the pizza wars begin.”

Gonzaga says: “I won’t comment on his [Hedderwick’s] statement. Let consumers decide. Price is not everything. Your brand, the product and your service are also big factors.”

But Gonzaga leaves no doubt about Taste’s ambitions. “We aim to be the leading delivered-pizza player,” he says. Taste, through its 140-store Scooters and St Elmo’s brands, ranks second to Debonairs in the sector.

Published in Endeavor SA Blog

20140414 Carlo Gonzaga 210x137Taste Holdings [JSE:TAS] has acquired luxury watch and jewellery retailer Arthur Kaplan from AKJ Holdings, for R85m cash in a move complementary to the franchised management group's strategy for competing in the upper income consumer market.

The acquisition is subject to certain suspensive conditions which are expected to be fulfilled by December 1.

AKJ Holdings owns and operates ten Arthur Kaplan branded outlets and one World's Finest Watches outlet in major South African shopping centres and is one of the leading retailers of Swiss watches nationally.

In the past 40 years, the group has established a reputation in the retail watch market as stockists of premium luxury brands including Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Tag Heuer and Longines and is among a select few retailers stocking these leading brands in multiple outlets.

The group also retails other leading luxury watch brands as well as fashion watch brands.

Arthur Kaplan retails luxury fine jewellery in collections under the Arthur Kaplan brand with a focus on engagement and bridal pieces.

Since opening in 2002, World's Finest Watches has, as the only specialist prestige watch boutique in Sandton, become an established destination for watch enthusiasts and collectors.

In the year to June 2014, Arthur Kaplan reported R224.3m in sales and adjusted profit after tax of R12.4m.

Taste Holdings CEO Carlo Gonzaga said Arthur Kaplan’s "affluent aspirational" target market complemented Taste's view that competing in the upper income consumer market had to be done via the best brands in their categories.

"Arthur Kaplan is a leader in the luxury Swiss watch segment in South Africa and Taste currently manages more than 25 watch brands in its existing jewellery business NWJ and retails these in 80 southern African locations," he said.

Arthur Kaplan's jewellery range is aligned to Taste's current manufacturing capability and Gonzaga believes there is potential to grow the Arthur Kaplan jewellery offerings and its revenue contribution.

This included growing the South African store numbers and satisfying the demand for luxury Swiss watches in sub-equatorial Africa.

"This market is currently underserved by dedicated retail offerings and the African focus and opportunity is aligned with that of the broader Taste group," said Gonzaga.

In terms of the deal, Dean Divaris from whose family trust Taste was purchasing a portion of the shares and who had been leading Arthur Kaplan for the past 14 years, would remain employed by the company and remain in his current role as managing director.

Source: News24 http://m.news24.com/fin24/Companies/Retail/Taste-broadens-its-jewellery-division-20141021

Published in 2014

20141023 Arthur-Kaplan-Picture-supplied-690x450Taste Holdings has bought South Africa’s leader in the luxury Swiss watch segment, Arthur Kaplan Jewellers from AKJ Holdings for R85 million, to be paid in cash.

Speaking to DESTINY MAN, Taste Holdings CEO Carlo Gonzaga, and Endeavor Entrepreneur, said acquiring Arthur Kaplan was part of their the strategy in trying to reach consumers in the upper-income bracket.

Taste Holdings currently owns NWJ, a franchised jewellery chain, which targets middle-income South African, while Arthur Kaplan caters for the “affluent aspirational” customers.

“[The acquisition is] aligned with where we are right now. We own NWJ and our luxury goods segment currently is half the operating profits already,” he says “If you are going to serve upper-income consumers in the luxury goods business, you should do it with the best brands.”

The NWJ business manages 25 watch brands that are currently being sold at over 77 locations in southern Africa.

Arthur Kaplan Jewellery is a family-run business that sells luxury jewellery with a focus on bridal and engagement pieces. The past four decades have seen the company grow its reputation as a stockist of premium luxury watch brands, including Rolex, Omega and Tag Heuer.

Published in Endeavor SA Blog

20141014 Dominos-pizzaThe last six months has seen Taste Holdings embark on its ambitious five-year growth plan, first with the acquisition of Zebro’s Chicken and then securing the franchise rights for Domino’s Pizza, the world’s largest pizza delivery chain.

Taste, whose brands include Scooters Pizza, St Elmo’s, Maxi’s and jeweller NWJ, reported a R1.1m decline in core headline earnings for the six months ended August 31, as a result of noncomparable costs associated with restructuring its food division.

Turnover rose 15% to R302.3m with positive contributions from both the jewellery and food segments.

Aligned to its growth plan was a restructure of the groups’ access to capital. In July, Taste registered a R1bn domestic medium-term note programme with an initial successful issuance of R125m. Furthermore, in September the group raised R180m from shareholders through a rights offer that was fully subscribed.

Published in Endeavor SA Blog
Friday, 05 September 2014 13:46

How to get ahead in franchising

Preparedness, perseverance and passion are among the most important attributes of a successful small business owner, according to top South African franchisors.

With franchising rapidly growing as an optimal way for entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses, many South Africans with entrepreneurial flair are now considering opening their own franchise store.

“The benefits of buying into a franchise or credible business opportunity include guidance, marketing support, economies of scale, training and association with a brand that has an existing track record. But franchise owners still risk failure if they go into the business unprepared,” says Lynn Chamier, general manager of Thebe Reed Exhibitions, the organisers of the upcoming Business Opportunities & Franchise Expo, presented in partnership with Eskom.

The SA Franchise Warehouse, which engages with franchisors and prospective franchisees to facilitate funding and deliver business skills assessments, says proper research and planning is crucial.

Published in Endeavor SA Blog
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 19:24

Taste Holdings wins communication award

20140414 Carlo Gonzaga 210x137At the Investment Analysts Society of SA (IAS) awards for the Best Corporate Reporting and Communications, held last week, Taste Holdings won in the Retail Services Sector for 2013 reports.

Taste Holdings believes in setting the standard for integrity and transparency when it comes to reporting to its stakeholders. Communication with its stakeholders has always been a priority, thus allowing stakeholders to assess the quality and sustainability of our current and future performance.

The IAS award is the latest in a long list of awards for the company. “Past winners of this category have been Mr Price, Bidvest and Tongaat Huletts, so we are in good company,” says Taste Holdings’ CEO, Carlo Gonzaga. “I am positive about the year ahead and am looking forward to the future successes of our dedicated teams.”

Gonzaga also received the Award for Excellence in Franchising from the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA). “Being inducted into the FASA Hall of Fame is indeed an honour. This is not just an award for myself, but I believe that it should go to the company, our franchisees, support staff, our loyal customer base and everyone who has played such an integral part of making this company the success it is,” he concludes.

[Read the original article on Bizcommunity here]  

Published in Endeavor SA Blog

May 20 (Reuters) - Shares in Taste Holdings fell more than 3 percent on Tuesday after the restaurant group said it had received a legal challenge against the validity of its recently secured rights to set up Domino's Pizza stores.

Taste Holdings has signed an exclusive 30-year agreement to develop the Domino's Pizza brand in seven southern African countries, sending its shares surging more than 10 percent when it announced the deal on April 10.

Taste said “local aggrieved parties” - who were unsuccessful in previous negotiations with Domino's - were challenging its franchise agreement. It did not identify the parties and it was unclear where the application was filed.

Taste, which runs nearly 150 restaurants under the Scooters Pizza and St. Elmo's Pizza brands, said it was studying the legal merits of the application that cited Domino's as the main respondent.

“We are not worried about this,” Carlo Gonzaga, founder and chief executive of Taste Holdings said by telephone, adding that none of the “aggrieved individuals” have or had a written agreement with Domino's Pizza.

[Read the full story on Reuters here] 

Published in Endeavor SA Blog

While the franchise industry in South Africa continues to grow, research has found that the number of black-owned franchises is decreasing because many still lack access to funding, via www.destinyconnect.com

Speaking at Franchising Association SA’s international expo this week, the Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Hlengiwe Mkhize, revealed alarming stats that show black-owned franchises are on the decline despite government efforts to ease access to funding for start ups.

Franchise ownership among black entrepreneurs decreased from 33% in 2010 to 20% in 2012, a decline Mhkize attributes to the historical ownership of capital being in white hands.

But Taste Holdings is defying the trend and leading the way in promoting black economic empowerment with around 76% of their stores being black-owned.

Their low-cost model brand, Fish & Chips Co, has delivered “healthy returns” to franchise owners, particularly the 16,5% of black female franchise owners.

[Read the full article here]

Published in Endeavor SA Blog
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