Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) format is increasingly addressing the rising demand of varied food services in India. Kaati Zone is a newly developing Indian brand that plans to make a significant impact in this space. In an interview, Kiran Nadkarni, CEO, Kaati Zone shares the expansion and future plans of the company.
Ramanjit Kaur: Brief us about the inception of Kaati Zone.
Kiran Nadkarni (KN): We started the company in 2004. The idea was to build a brand in Quick Service Restaurant chain and take the brand not just across the country but beyond Indian territory as well. We started the concept in Bengaluru and operated the business there for almost six years and introduced the necessary elements required to scale-up the business.
RK: When did the company start franchising? From where did you get the inspiration to take the franchise route?
KN: We took the franchise route in 2010 to expand the presence of our brand across the nation. We opted franchising as it is the best way to expand a QSR business across multiple geographies. Moreover, through franchising, we can leverage the local knowledge and management to run a restaurant.
RK: What is the USP of your business and franchise system?
KN: Our business is one of those few concepts in Indian food in QSR format, which are scalable at national and international level. For an aspirant, association with our brand can be very beneficial as we have better access to various cities in metros and remote areas than any other brand in this format. Besides this, the investment to take up our franchise is low, which offers an opportunity to set up a business with attractive paybacks.
RK: How many franchisees do you have at present? What are your future plans to expand the business?
KN: At present, there are two franchisees in Bengaluru. Two more franchised outlets are in pipeline that will be operationalised in the next three month in Hyderabad and Chennai. Besides this, we aim to have around 100 franchised outlets in the next three years.
RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees?
KN: We look for aspiring entrepreneurs with sound local knowledge and a good location. Apart from this, entrepreneurs with experience in the F&B industry and expertise in managing a business are preferred though not mandatory. The franchisee must be able to invest around six to seven lakh rupees to set up a kiosk, while for starting a franchised outlet; s/he needs to invest Rs 25 lakh.
RK: What kind of support and services do you offer to your franchisees?
KN: We offer our franchisees with all the support and training that are required to set up a franchised business. We provide support in terms of selecting the location, setting up the restaurant or kiosk, training the franchisee and staff and giving them all the standard operating procedures to run the business smoothly and profitably.