A number of Muslims resorted to Facebook this week to express their disgust after they were led to believe that a Spur Steak Ranch kiosk was halal and later discovered it was not certified. The popular franchise sold food to customers at the Junior Argus Cycle Tour last Saturday, an event attended by hundreds of Muslim families whose children participated in the bicycle race.
A listener, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was told by staff that the food being sold was halal and purchased food for her entire family.
“The queue was filled with Muslim customers. We were all told that the food was halal and had no reason to doubt as we always see Spur at our local festivals,” she told VOC News.
Spur patrons were incensed on social media following the incident. Some social media users said they were “disgusted” at the lack of respect for Muslim customers, while others said they had lost confidence in the franchise.
In response, Spur CEO Pierre Van Donders extended a “heartfelt” apology to the Muslim community of Cape Town following an investigation into the incident. Van Donders explained that the fault lies with the outsourced supplier who made last minute changes and misrepresented the product to customers.
“The outsourced operator who did the event did not use the criteria as set out by our supply chain. Therefore, the product was misrepresented and customers thought it came from a Halal supplier. We will be issuing legal notice to this particular operator,” Van Donders added.
Van Donders reiterated the franchise’s stance on their “strict” halal criteria.
“In the event of catering for a halal based clientèle, we make use of our franchises in Vangate Mall, or Rodeo Spur in Claremont. This way we can ensure that the food served is strictly halal. However, the event over the weekend was not a halal event,” Van Donders continued.
In conclusion, Van Donders said it was the right of every customer to request halal certification at Spur kiosks.
The MJC Halal Trust could not be reached for comment. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)