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Jan, 16 2010

Eat and drink

South Africa’s premium cocktail-bar chain News Café opened its first restaurant in Delhi in a franchise tie-up with NumbersOnly Hospitality. Announcing this recent opening in India Alan van der Westhuizen, General Manager - Restaurant Division, News Café

South Africa’s premium cocktail-bar chain News Café opened its first restaurant in Delhi in a franchise tie-up with NumbersOnly Hospitality. Announcing this recent opening in India Alan van der Westhuizen, General Manager - Restaurant Division, News Café delves in detail to share expansion plans for Indian and other international markets.

Besides Delhi, which other cities are you planning to enter?

At this point we have got confirmed Hyderabad and Mumbai and from there we are marking a couple of other cities. So we would be looking at Goa, Bangalore and possibly another one restaurant in Delhi as well.

What route have you adopted to enter the Indian market and why?

NumbersOnly is our master franchisee in India. They can franchise the News Café to third party franchisee if they want. We have signed a 10 year agreement with them. We will further extend it once we establish a strong footprint in India.

I think master franchise is the best route to enter India because we are very confident with Numbersonly as business partners. They understand our concept and our business. They are one point contact in India and they will control everything in India.

Why did you choose NumbersOnly as your partner for India operations?

For international expansion we need someone in whom we have strong confidence. NumbersOnly have an established business in India and they have got lot of experience in hospitality part as well.

Besides India, which other markets are you planning to enter?

We are looking at China, Middle East and Dubai but we have not yet managed to find a partner that we are confident in. At this point we are looking ahead at China, India and existing centres in other countries in Africa. We are present in Nigeria and Botswana and we are currently looking at Ghana.

What research do you undertake before entering an international market?

We try and meet with the South African entity or the South African high commission to give us information on the economies as to how they have developed, what is the per capita income and what potential is for a business like ours. Then we look at the detailed information which is city specific. If we receive that information well and good, otherwise we look for information from existing restaurant owners/businesses.

What kind of business route do you adopt to operate internationally?

Internationally, we operate through the franchise route. In South Africa we are 100 per cent franchised with independent franchisees. But in international markets we try and get one master franchisee. We negotiate with them and then they in turn select and negotiate with franchisees in their countries.

Have you localised News Cafe to make it suitable for India?

We have done some localisation, not to the brand but to the design, like we have made some changes in terms of furniture. And, obviously we have to adopt slightly on the menu. It is not the standard menu that we implement world wide. We added some Indian cuisines and Indian ingredients to it. We had to minimise it to suit what’s available in India.

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