Spur franchisees hard hit by boycott

Spur franchise-owners are battling, as a boycott by conservatives hits their pockets

A boycott of Spur restaurants is costing franchisees millions of rands, according to The Daily Maverick. In March this year, a video of a white man verbally harassing a black woman and children at a Spur at the Glen Shopping Centre in Johannesburg caused an uproar across the country, with many calling it a racially motivated attack. Spur responded by banning the man from all its restaurants for life.

According to the report, a Facebook group calling for people to boycott the franchise for banning the white man and not the black family as well appeared the day after the footage was shared.  Right-wing party the Front Nasionaal has taken credit for the Boycott/Boikot Spur page.

READ MORE: Hope for more black Spur owners dashed as shareholders veto the deal

Spur restaurants in traditionally conservative areas of South Africa are feeling the pinch, with one owner reporting losing as much as 45 per cent of turnover at one of his outlets and 28 per cent at another one.

Speaking to the the Daily Maverick, Spur COO Mark Farrelly says the outrage was partly borne from the fact that many people had not seen the entire video, which makes it clear who is responsible for the altercation. Out of concern for the safety of the children in the video, Farrelly says it was not going to release the entire footage.

Despite the fallout from certain quarters of society, Spur still stands by the decision to ban the aggressive man in the video. Farrelly said it was not a racial decision, but a response to “an assault by a large male on a young child”.  He said it was an appropriate response, given the high levels of abuse against women and children in the country.