L.C. Kumar, Chief Managing Director & Vikas Panjabi, Managing Director, The Chocolate Room shares their insight on expansion plan through franchising.
The Chocolate Room, an Australian based exquisite chain of chocolate cafes in India. The brand has come up with Fixed Royalty Programmed (FRP) offering up to 50 per cent lesser monthly royalty compared to the current market. Recently, they have started R&D department and develop the organic chocolates to serve across India.
The Chocolate Room was launched in June 2007 at Ahmadabad to create a new chocolate culture in India. After successfully completing one year, they their franchising operations across pan India. In nine years they have set up 202 stores across India and 20 more are coming. The brand has been awarded as the franchisor of the year in 2015. They also achieved many awards namely power brands and the best desert place from Times of India.
“The Chocolate Room” has its uniqueness in the name itself. It is the first company in India, who has introduced 16 different flavors of hot chocolates. The brand is also known for its chocolate shakes, choctails, chocolate shots and chocolate pizzas. The crockery and merchandise is also exclusive and launched in India for the first time.
Opportunity via franchising
The Chocolate Room looks for young entrepreneurs who have the passion combined with patience to excel. A prospective franchisee should be financially stable and willing to commit to be a part of the ever growing F&B industry with positive attitude and prepare to face challenges. The candidate should also ready to work with the franchisor and give regular suggestions.
For the franchisee, they provide onsite training for 15-20 days from the point of signing a franchise agreement to recruiting staff to introducing suppliers and having a soft opening done at the store. The training includes three days of theoretical training and seven days of practical training and one week of observation. They also give all the training manuals, SOP charts for maintaining quality and hygiene. After an extensive training schedule, they regularly visit all the franchisees to do a follow up session. As business support they regularly assist all franchisees by giving HR, marketing and regular training.
As a franchisor, they have centralized the branding and PR activities which enhance operating efficiency translating into better returns. They on regular intervals offer complete set of marketing collaterals and advertisement and social marketing support to all franchisees pan India.
Presently, the brand has attained a turnover of 12 crore and is planning to achieve 50 crore by 2020. They are also looking for equity partners to raise funds for their company. After achieving an exponential growth in various segments, the brand is looking to expand in tier II &III cities and also plans to have 25 company stores in Tier I cities within next two years.
Investment: 10-40 lakhs
Existing outlets: Company-owned – 4 |Franchise -198
Area: Kiosk - 100-300 sq.ft | Compact model - 400-600 sq.ft | Standalone model - 800 sq ft onwards
Breakeven: 18-36 months
Target cities: Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Orissa & Bangaluru
Franchise Model: Unit, Multi & Master franchise
Year of starting franchise operations: 2009
Year of inception: 2007