Pizza and pasta popularity has given boost to Italian food market in India. Tarun Chaudhary, MD, Slice of Italy shares with us the expanding phase of his brand through franchise route.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): What inspired Slice of Italy to take the franchise route to expand the brand?
Tarun Chaudhary (TC): The objective of Slice of Italy is to reinforce its distinctive niche. It is the only casual dining restaurant with home delivery service. It is known for its Italian menu that carries 66 varieties of Pizzas. Franchising made it easy to reach and satisfy more customers and expand into new markets, thus achieving the goal of continued growth. Slice of Italy’s team follows a simple rule ‘treat the customer the way we would like to be treated, make the food which we would love to die for’.
RK: What is the eligibility criterion for taking the franchisee of your company?
TC: For us, a franchisee is a business partner (a very demanding one). There are various parameters for finalising a franchisee such as: educational background, financial background, family ethics and so on. We allocate our franchise by keeping all these factors in consideration. But the most significant parameter is the franchisees’ passion for food and success.
RK: How many franchisees do you have and in which all cities?
TC: We have 15 outlets in Delhi and NCR; out of these four are franchise outlets. We are planning to open 38 to 40 outlets by 2011.
RK: What support do you provide to your franchisees?
TC: We provide our franchisee with every possible support as soon as the franchise agreement is signed. We even help our franchisees in lease negotiation (if asked by the franchisees). Our store development team guides the franchisees through the design, permitting, bidding and construction process. We offer a thorough training and support to our franchisees.
RK: What is the break even period for ‘Slice of Italy’ franchise?
TC: Slice of Italy franchise has a break even within three to four months of opening. As far as the break even of the entire investment is concerned, the return can be achieved in two or two and half years of the opening of the outlet depending upon the location of the outlet, since the brand Slice of Italy is touching new heights.
RK: Any advice for young entrepreneurs?
TC: The secret to success comprises commitment, excellence, an obsession with product you deal with (in our case its pizza), dedication, and a desire to succeed.
RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?
TC: The company plans to open 38 to 40 outlets by 2011. We have plans to expand in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, along with Delhi and NCR. We have plans to open pure vegetarian Slice of Italy restaurants in all major cities of Gujrat and in some parts of Maharashtra as well.