South African steak restaurant 'brand icon' draws crowds
One little girl was so overwhelmed when she visited a new Auckland family restaurant, she burst into tears.
South African flame-grilled meat chain Spur has only been open in Albany for two weeks and already is drawing queues.
In its first week, the restaurant welcomed patrons in the thousands according to operations manager and co-owner for White Cloud Spur Jaco Jordaan.
Jordaan says after a family and friends opening on October 23, they were full from the very next day.
"On Monday [the first day of trading] word had spread and social media went 'boom' - the guys had taken photos and were posting them on Facebook on Sunday," Jordaan says.
"Monday, twelve o'clock, we opened the doors and we ran a queue. We hadn't advertised - nothing. And it hasn't stopped since."
Deputy managing director for Spur Corporation and fellow co-owner Mark Farrelly says there's even been queues of 60 to 80 people - on one occasion stretching up to the road - a reaction he says he didn't expect.
"I knew people would want to come here, but I'm blown away. And incredibly appreciative," he says.
Both hailing from Cape Town, Farrelly and Jordaan began setting up White Cloud Spur around nine months ago, after Farrelly had the idea to open a kiwi branch after multiple trips down under to visit family.
Established in 1967, the Spur brand is known for its flame-grilled meats, particularly steaks, burgers and ribs.
Don and Jane Govender and their two children are just one South African family who are thrilled to welcome Spur.
Govender says it puts a South African "footprint" in New Zealand.
"They have a motto back in South Africa. They say, 'Spur, the taste for life,'" he says.
"If you come here, you get a 'taste of Spur'. The feeling won't leave you, you'll want more of it."
The Govenders moved to New Zealand a year ago.
Their two children McKenzie and Sai loved the brand so much, they brought their Spur 'Secret Tribe' loyalty cards with them - even though they knew there was no Spur branch in New Zealand at the time.
McKenzie, 10, was emotional on her first visit to the restaurant, saying it reminded her of her home country.
Govender says opening a South African restaurant is their way of "giving back".
"New Zealand has been so embracing to so many South Africans in having them settle and immigrate," he says.
"I think it's such an awesome idea for the South Africans to set up something and they give back to New Zealand."
Farrelly also has high hopes for Spur.
"It's a brand icon that I've brought here, but what we're really hoping is that this will become a brand icon for New Zealand as well."
- North Harbour News