Is Spur's senior menu value for money?

From their kids’ play room to their regular burger specials, Spur is one of the major go-to-family restaurants in South Africa, but now we’re wondering if its senior menu is, in fact, value for money.

Alina Hardcastle studies the Spur seniors menu to find out what different branches are offering.

Size does matter

If you get a discount as a senior citizen, you’d assume that you are still getting the same size portions as on the adult menu – right? However, when we contacted various Spur branches* there were some inconsistencies.

Some Spurs say the portions are the same as those on the adult menu; while others say that some meals, such as the burger meal, are served on the same plate as a kiddie’s meal. So in other words, certain Spur branches are charging our seniors R62.90 for a burger that is served on a kid’s size plate, which is priced at R42.90 on the kid’s menu.

The Spur’s website shows that the rib burger and the calamari dish are generously discounted but we found that with some Spurs the portion sizes also decrease, when comparing prices per gram. So that makes certain dishes, such as the calamari, better value for money on the adult menu than the senior’s menu.

For example, calamari is R94.90 for 250g but when you order off the senior’s menu you get 125g for R59.90. If you do the math you will see that you’re paying more when ordering off the senior’s menu (scroll down below). Then some discounts aren’t as generous.

Etienne Ralphs, marketing manager of Spur Group, argues that seniors are not getting portion reductions on every food item: “When we create a half portion as on the seniors menu, we only remove half (whether it’s a schnitzel, burger patty, or rib portion) off the main product. The sides and sauces (where relevant) remain the same. In other words, the senior’s meals are not 50% smaller than an adult portion therefore the price point cannot be half price.”

When Moneybags asked about the burger meals inconsistent portion size he responded: “Portion sizes (burger, schnitzel, etc.) in some situations are the same size, however our kids menu does not include onion rings and the price points [seniors menu] are further subsidised.”

He adds: “Costing is based on a half portion of adult meals, but run at a higher food cost due to the sides and plate cost being the same for both menus.”

Seniors don’t always get a great discount on meals. For example, the original spur and soya burger on the adults menu is R65.90 but on the seniors menu they are both R62.90. It’s a saving of just R3. Meanwhile on the seniors menu the new classic dog (hot dog) costs R59.90, while on the adult menu you pay a mere R3 more at R62.90. Toasted sandwiches on the other hand, are priced exactly the same at R34.90 on both menus (see below).

Seniors eat less – Spur

Some items on the senior menu are smaller portion wise but how can Spur justify this? Is there any proof that seniors eat less than adults that are younger than them?

Ralph certainly thinks so: “From many years of discussion with our restaurant staff, whilst not surveyed, it can be said that pensioners often do eat smaller portions.”

Limited options

Another one of our concerns are the limited options on the senior menu. When we highlight this, Ralph states: “Due to the subsidised nature of the menu, certain products on the adult menu would be too expensive to list, for example: fillet steak. We have also, over time, removed items that a sales mix report tells us do not sell. We review these at every menu run.”

What should you do?

If you are a senior who has a hearty appetite then we advise ordering certain dishes off the adults menu as a doggy-bag is always an option for anything you don’t finish.

If you are still looking for a discount, take advantage of Spur’s current specials. There’s a buy one get one free burger deal to take advantage of on Mondays, a Rockin Ribs special for R89.90 every Wednesday and the Unreal Breakfast for R26.90 with bottomless coffee at R16.90**.

Alternatively, find out if your local Spur’s offering is more generous. “Many stores also do their own local store promotion aimed at seniors. For example a carvery, or a two or three course meal,” says Ralph. Others also offer a free meal if a pensioner belongs to their birthday club and do set menus for certain outings.

Finally, scrutinise the portion sizes and ask your waiter if you are getting value for money. If you feel you are being short changed in any way, complain or rather order off the adult menu. If you’re still not happy then vote with your feet – there are plenty of other family restaurants out there after all. You can search for more deals through Moneybags – we’re sure you can find one to suit your budget.

*Spur branches approached for comment include: Grand West, Kenilworth, Claremont, the Waterfront and Montecasino in Johannesburg.
**Deals correct at the time of writing.

Adult menu serving (left) and senior’s menu serving (right).

The pictures below show that the calamari meal on the adult menu is 250g, while the calamari dish listed on the senior menu only has a 125g portion. The rib burger dish was also reduced in size. The rib burger on the adult menu offers two patties (2 x 100g) while the senior menu only offers a 100g portion.


Rib burger


Pensioner savings?
The screen shots below show that seniors save R3 on a hot diggity dog, the chicken wrap and the original spur burger meal.

Hot diggity dogs (1)

 Chicken wrap

The original spur burger

Correct as at 19 July 2016.