Big Square founder exits eatery


South African investor Morne Deetlefs, the founder of local fast food enterprise Big Square, has left the company to establish another business in Ghana nine years after establishing the eatery.

According to a news report by the Business Daily, Mr. Deetlefs left the company under yet to be established circumstances with insiders privy to the deal citing boardroom wars and conflict of interest with the eatery’s board as reasons behind his decision to leave.

“Mr Deetlefs has decided to step down from the business and he is now establishing new business in Ghana. He is no longer on the normal day to day operations of the business,” Mr Sebastian McKinlay Managing Director (MD) at Big Square is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.

The Big Square MD similarly revealed that Mr. Deetlefs agreed to leave the company after receiving a favourable compensation package from the restaurant chain. Despite his exit, Mr. Deetlefs will “remain a director” at the company. Prior to his exit, Mr. Deetlefs ran operations at the company alongside Joram Gatei, South-African based private equity fund Uqalo that recently invested Sh404 million into the business and a Zimbabwean national.

Big Square has been on an aggressive local expansion spree in recent months with the eatery opening its thirteenth outlet at Mountain Estate in Nairobi last month. The eatery partnered with oil marketer Vivo Energy to set up the eatery which will be located at its Shell Service Station in the area.  The eatery is similarly eyeing new African markets tofurther expand its regional footprint.

“The new restaurant outlet will provide both motorists and shoppers the opportunity to experience their array of delicious and authentic home-made meals in relaxed environment in the Mountain View area,” said Big Square in a statement then.

ALSO READ: Big Square to launch second CBD outlet


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