With the fizzy drink drought only likely to end in October after SAB's R100million carbon dioxide plant starts operating, restaurants have taken to stockpiling.
"I was forced to order two months supply so I don't run out of stock," said James Balabu, general manager of Primi Piatti in Rosebank.
"To do a double-month order was very painful."
Restaurant operators like Balabu preferred to strain their finances by hoarding soft drinks than risk losing customers during last weekend's Easter boom.
The dominant supplier of fizzy drinks in South Africa is brewing giant SAB via its wholly owned subsidiary Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI).
Michael Shongwe, manager of Wandies Place in Soweto, said that the carbon dioxide shortages have lasted longer than expected and he has been forced to seek alternative suppliers to ABI.
SAB has proposed to supply ABI with the carbon dioxide that it produces as a by-product of brewing beer. But before this gas can be used in soft drinks, SAB needs to complete its carbon dioxide purification plant.