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Food and Beverage 2012-09-06

Savoring success with dash of franchising

By Namita Bhagat Feature Writer

A young and dynamic brand based in Lebanon that offers a unique F&B concept is Colombiano Coffee House (CCH). In an interaction, Patrick Lahoud, International Business Development Manager, CCH shares brand’s franchise expansion plans in India.

Namita Bhagat (NB): Kindly share with us the concept of Colombiano Coffee House or CCH.

Patrick Lahoud (PL) Colombiano Coffee House or CCH is a café brand headquartered in Lebanon. The concept is based on a mythical and old love story of Coco, a young and beautiful woman from Costa Playa Real and her grandmother, Lomalita. She was an excellent cook who devoted her life to teach Coco the art of preparing great tasting food and beverages, and Coco’s beloved Fabiano, an Italian who helped realise her dream of opening a food and beverage store in a city. It is a love story that immortalised the beautiful emotions shared among three of them and created Co.Lom.Biano, by joining of their names. The brand’s USP is that its products are created from a healthy recipe using quality ingredients. Our guests can enjoy our tasty appetisers and tapas, wholesome salads, sandwiches  and platters, high end  pizza, burgers and wedged potato fries (for the restaurant format, in certain markets), mouthwatering pastries, deserts, ice creams, refreshing fruit juice based blends and milk based shakes, coffee and tea based beverages, or alcohol based cocktails, spirits and much more.

NB: How unique is the concept of CCH?

PL: Today, the CCH Colombiano House (CCH) concept can be easily viewed as a uniquely elegant Bistro / Café, a fusion between some of the better known gourmet pastry stores in the world, the thought after restaurants, universally known for serving rich tasting platters (for the restaurant format), the world famous sandwich, salads and pasta-penne outlets, and other well known international Coffeehouse and Tearoom names. What differentiates CCH from its competitors is its great tasting food and beverages inspired by the Latin American cuisine and flavoured with love. For example our coffee and tea based beverages are imported from countries like Costa Rica, Sumatra, Brazil, Ethiopia etc, tea and infusion flavours sourced from ‘Sri Lanka’ and other countries. Furthermore, our Euro Latino / Spanish image always adds a unique flavour to the Bistro-Café experience whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, after dinner, and in between.

NB: What inspired CCH to initiate franchising?

PL: We have already established a comfortable following within the local community in home market. Thus, now we would like extend our really satisfying, fresh and affordable Latin cuisine served in an enjoyable setting to other regions. The brand wanted to offer the visitors a place they could call their own and feel pride in recommending it to their friends and loved ones. CCH decided to extend the experience of good living and uniquely flavoured, great tasting food and beverages with as many people as possible across the world via franchise route.

NB: Share brand’s current presence and its growth plans in Indian market?

PL: CCH is developing operations in a number of Arab and gulf countries. We are also targeting to expand in the United States and Europe. We have signed up several master franchisees that are already operating or committed to open CCH stores in Middle Eastern countries namely Lebanon, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. We are also in talks with potential master franchisee investors in Middle East and Africa. We have entered the Indian market and are looking to establish our brand’s presence in the country’s market via franchise partnerships.

NB: What are the franchise facts for potential Indian investors?

PL: As franchisors, we care about our long term successful relationship with the franchisee and therefore, look for those potential entrepreneurs that best satisfies the CCH criteria that includes qualities like good standing in the society where the investment and development will take place, financial stability, management expertise, track record of success in the F&B sector, strategic vision etc. We offer varied franchise formats like QSR, Bistro and Restaurant in India. The investment criteria for potential franchises in Indian market are: Rs 57 lakh to 1.12 crore along with an area ranging from 800-2,000 sq. ft.  We are looking to open brand’s sites in metros cities.

NB: What kind of support and training is offered to the prospective franchisees?

PL: At CCH, we do our best to help establish a good base for the franchisee to get started.  Ours is an easy to adapt model and we offer complete training and operational support with continuous innovation of products to our partners. We would like to build strong business alliance with our partners and suppliers alike, to whom we communicate our strict operating guidelines and stringent F&B quality requirements. Consequently, we offer constant strategic support on all aspects of the CCH concept, as well as tactical support both at the on-set of the relationship and throughout the life of the franchise.

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