Food and Beverage May, 20 2015

McDonald’s to strengthen its beverage strategy with McCafé

By Rashi Mathur, TFW Bureau
McDonald’s to strengthen its beverage strategy with McCafé

McDonald’s, which has become a household name in the burger market, is replicating its success in beverages sector as well with its new venture McCafé. In a conversation, Smita Jatia, Managing Director, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt. Ltd (HRPL), Master Franchisee, McDonald’s West and South India, shares brand’s goal to elevate its coffee portfolio.

Enlighten us about the extension of McDonald’s to McCafé?

McCafé, the global successful café style brand extension of McDonald’s was brought to India in October 2013. McCafé is the third line-extension for McDonald's in India after it added McDelivery and Dessert Kiosks in the last few years. With a strong coffee foundation HRPL recognised an unmet need for the existing and new customers in the rapidly growing Indian specialty coffee segment.

Tell us about your brand’s recent openings.

We have launched three McCafés in Bengaluru recently. We are extremely excited with the launch of our first McCafé in South India. The city of Bengaluru has a great significance as a coffee hub and there is a tremendous potential for growth. With the launch of McCafé, we will strengthen our beverage strategy and build our restaurants as a one-stop destination for customers to enjoy across all day parts.

What are your expansion plans?

Within a span of 18 months we have expanded our McCafé network across 41 restaurants in six cities, namely Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Nashik, Aurangabad, Pune and Bengaluru. Our goal is to launch 75-150 McCafés over the next three to five years.

Throw light on the global presence of McCafe.

McCafé is a coffee-house-style food and drink chain owned by McDonald's which was created and launched in Melbourne, Australia in 1993. Today, McCafé is spread across the US, Costa Rica, Japan, Paraguay, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, Canada, Malaysia and the UK.

What kind of outlet formats do you operate through?

McDonald’s operates through various formats and brand extensions including Standalone restaurants, Drive-thru’s, 24/7, McDelivery and Dessert kiosks.

Tell us briefly about the presence of HRPL.

HRPL is a Master Franchisee of McDonald’s with rights to own and operate McDonald’s restaurants in the West and South markets of India. HRPL has been a franchisee in this part of India since its inception in 1996. HRPL serves approximately 185 million customers annually. It runs over 200 McDonald’s restaurants across 24 cities in the states of Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.

What is the USP of McCafé?

McCafé uses 100% Arabica coffee beans that are specially brewed by professionally trained baristas which are medium roasted to perfection, then freshly ground with every order to maintain flavour and quality. The coffee beans and espresso are locally sourced from sustainable farms in Chikmangalur, India.

What are your views on the changing trends in F&B sector?

Over the last one decade, Indian consumers have shifted from being saving oriented to be more consumption oriented, more so in the last four years. There is a growing willingness to experiment with cuisines and consume food and drink outside the home. Cafés are considered as perfect places to socialise.

Franchise facts

Investment Current restaurants Expansion 
Rs 30-35 lakh 41 75-150 McCafés over the next 3-5 years

Related: Scaling heights through QSR

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