Chicken Licken stores were closed on Wednesday to mourn the death of the founder of the fast food chain George Sombonos.
The 67-year-old chicken business entrepreneur lost a long battle against cancer last week.
He founded Chicken Licken in 1981 after buying a secret spice from an American restaurateur for $1 000 and created a thriving empire in South Africa which includes 250 Chicken Licken stores.
The fried chicken franchise said Sombonos was a pioneer who stood for what was right when others took the easy way out.
“In our 35th year, we as a business, and a family, stand in awe of his legacy. We will remember his ingenuity, dedication and respect — not only as our CEO, but that of a family man of great integrity. It was a privilege to be led by a man of George’s stature,” a Chicken Licken statement said.
“Today (Wednesday) we thank him for the profound impact he’s had on our lives. In the coming year, in the humble way he respected others, we will respect his legacy.”
Chicken Licken sells over 400 000 chickens and five million hot wings a month, and has an annual turnover of R1.3 billion.