Steers and Debonairs owner is betting big on a new plant-based restaurant chain in South Africa

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Restaurant Group Famous Brands has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Lexi’s Healthy Eatery.

Lexi’s is a casual dining restaurant brand, offering a full-service, sit-down, plant-based dining experience across breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is plant-based, being almost entirely vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.

Founded in 2018, Lexi’s currently has four restaurants are located in Rosebank, Modderfontein, Hazelwood (Pretoria) and Sea Point. It also operates a fledgling central kitchen that develops and produces meals for the four restaurants and retails a limited range of convenience frozen goods to a small number of supermarkets.

“The acquisition is aligned with Famous Brands’ three-year strategic roadmap, which includes acquiring brands that have the potential to lead in their category, and which offer growth prospects based on opportunities to improve existing operational efficiencies in the target business,” Famous Brands said in an accompanying statement on Wednesday (30 March).

Famous Brands’ existing portfolio does not include an exclusively vegetarian or plant-based offering, and as a forerunner in its category, Lexi’s is a good fit for the group, it said.

“The trend to healthy eating and plant-based foods has been present in the market for some time, and continues to grow; this is evidenced by the increasing receptiveness to and take-up of healthier and vegetarian options on the menus of the group’s existing brand portfolio.”

The group said it is confident that the brand offering has strong potential to be expanded into a quick-service restaurant format, and there  is also scope to develop Lexi’s products for the supermarket retail space, and leverage off the Group’s well-established route-to-market.

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