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Food and Beverage 2015-09-21

Fast casual gets the fastest acceptance

Fast casual food and beverage market is booming like never before in India. Be it Indian or international players, the concept has worked for all and is paying dividends with changing taste preference and rising disposable income. We take a sneak peek int

By Sandeep Rana, TFW Bureau Senior Copy Editor

Fast casual is a relatively fresh and rapidly growing concept positioned somewhere between fast food restaurants and casual dining restaurants. It is technically the hybrid of the two eating concepts. It provides counter service and offers more customised, freshly prepared and high quality food than traditional QSRs in an upscaled and inviting ambiance. With minimum table service, the fast casual restaurants generally do not have drive-thru outlets.

The category is fast growing with Indian, Mexican, Italian and American brands fast catching the pulse of the Indian consumers here. On these lines, Burrito Boys and Habanero, relatively new brands are tapping the major towns in India. “There is a great scope for the fast casual concept in India and we have got good response to our brands here,” Griffith David, Founder and CEO, tells Franchise India.

Burrito Boys brand has been launched on the lines of Mexican dish called chipotle. It serves Mexican cuisines like burritos, bowls, tacos, guacamole, salsa, guacamole and others. While, Habanero offers combination of Texan and Mexican cuisines, in India and serves nachos, burritos, quesadillas, and burgers, as well as grilled chicken breasts, fish and tenderloin with classic drinks and sweet endings.

“F&B sector is fast growing and has huge potential because of favorable demography with higher proportion of youngsters in the population, increasing disposable incomes, exposure to modern life style with strong desire to explore newer snacking concepts like fast casual snacking, eating out etc. The potential can be measured by 26% growth year-on-year,” shares Sanjeev Pant, Senior Vice President, CP Foods, the company which runs 319 outlets here.

Even as per Economist Intelligence Unit, Indian fast-food industry is expected to double in size between 2013 and 2016, to $1.12 billion. The demographic trends show that it could become the next mega-market for the international fast food players.

Concept throws franchising opportunities   

The brands which are running on this concept are aggressively expanding via the franchise route and creating immense opportunities for the entrepreneurs here. “The popularity and wider spread of the F&B sector has amplified the opportunities for entrepreneurs to enter this fast growing, profitable sector. Globalisation, higher disposal income, lifestyle shifts and changes in consumer behavior are leading to the experimentation and adoption of new dietary habits and more occasions of eating out are the key drivers of the growth. Moreover, the advent of foreign QSRs in India, easy access to world class food and services at an affordable price have changed the market dynamics favourably. Consumers are now willing to eat out and spend more than they were in the past. Young aspiring entrepreneurs can take up franchise with a minimal investment of Rs 10-12 lakh with us,” notes Sanjeev Pant.

The Thai-brand runs 319 outlets and is growing steadily in metros as well as in smaller towns via the franchising route. “This opens exciting opportunities for franchise partners in all these regions. The investment required is low, thus it opens up opportunities for many people to become business owners to supplement their income,” he adds further.

Laying major impetus on franchising, David tells Franchise India, “We already have three Burrito Boys outlets in Bangalore and are soon coming up with three more in Hyderabad. A franchisee can either open a food court or a standalone outlet as per the available area. We wish to open 40-45 outlets pan-India in the near future via company-owned and franchise mode. While for Habanero, we soon plan to open our outlets in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. We see opening 20 to 25 Habanero restaurants in four years via combination of franchise and company-owned stores.”

Franchise facts:

 Brands

 Area

 Investment

 Breakeven

 RoI

 Expansion plans

 Five Star Chicken

100- 250 sq ft

 10-12 lakh

 36 months

 20%+

100 to 150 outlets in next two years

 Habanero

 3000 sq ft

 Around 1.5 crore

-

 22 %

 40-45

 Burrito Boys

 400-800 sq ft

 20-30 lakh

 15 months

 15-20 %

 20-25

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