By Bridget Mananavire
Businessman Shingi Munyeza seems to have failed to grow the businesses he acquired several years ago as he is reportedly set to dispose the franchises.
Munyeza started by scaling down operations at some of the franchises such as Ocean Basket, News Café and Mugg & Bean before closing them down altogether. He has now apparently ceded control of Ocean Basket and News Café brands to Innscor through the Simbisa Group.
Simbisa Group already operates Steers, Nando’s, Rocomama’s , Creamy Inn Chicken Inn, Pizza Inn, and Baker’s Inn African Delight and Haefelis.
In previous interviews with the Daily News, Munyeza noted challenges with paying franchise fees as well as lack of business.
Initially, he was planning on expanding the businesses to other towns but has since failed.
Munyeza recently told the paper that while he was looking at bringing in other popular franchises in the country, he had to consider the issue of paying royalties.
“We are looking into it and considering which centres they could open. There is also the issue of paying royalties which need to be paid in foreign currency, which is not available in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We sold the Fife Avenue and Village sights. We are looking at moving to other locations, but get in touch with me end of June, depending on the situation in the country. Then I would have information of where and when the launch will be,” Munyeza said.
Munyeza, the former chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed African Sun, disposed of a controlling equity stake in the leading hotel management group and bought coveted franchises Mugg & Bean, Newscafe, Ocean Basket, Simply Asia, but some of the franchise branches have been struggling.
Meanwhile, Mugg & Bean franchise owned by Munyeza also discontinued its Avondale operations following non-renewal of its lease with the tenant, according to the businessman.
Munyeza opened the first Mugg and Bean in 2013 at Sam levy’s Village followed by the Avondale one in 2014.
The coffee-themed restaurant franchise owner had also told the Daily News that they were looking around for a suitable space to relocate the Avondale restaurant.
“The lease expired and they did not renew it as the tenant wants to use the space for something else,” Munyeza said earlier.
“We are looking into spaces where we can open another restaurant as we are looking at a suitable place. We cannot just open it anyway, we have to look at a suitable centre and the malls are limited.
“Yes, Ocean Basket (another restaurant) at Avondale was also discontinued for the same reasons that they want to develop it for something else’’.
The restaurant chain originating from SA operates under Vinale investments.