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Nov, 12 2013

Secret recipe to run a ‘chic’Ken business

With whopping increase of Rs 40,000 crore, the poultry meat market in India, has grown by leaps and bounds. The concept of fried chicken is taking a toll above its traditional counterparts selling tandoori chicken in India. The influx of many Internationa

Be it roasted or grilled, kebab or a curry, Indians want to taste the flavour of the same in any form. It has lead to lucrative avenues for aspiring entrepreneurs. Chicken which is considered a much healthier source of animal protein than mutton; beef and pork is readily available in different avatars to be relished. Fried chicken wings are the latest rage among the chicken lovers these days that only gets sufficed with a bucket full of crisp, juicy and spicy treat.

With the growing arrival of International F&B brands in India, the changing lifestyles, increasing nuclear families and a rise in the urbanization in India over the past years, the organised sector of fried chicken chains have also received augmentation in India. Secondly, the customer preference for the cuisine has seen a transition in India from consuming the traditional Indian food to trying out different cuisines such as the American, French, Lebanese, Italian and Mexican.

The increasing exposure to the international cultures and lifestyles by leaps and bounds, the Indian population has started developing their tastes and is reaching out to restaurants that are offering fried chicken than to the one selling traditional tandoori chicken, indeed. Due to which many international and Indian players are getting motivated to expand their footprints in the Indian F&B market.

Escalating market

As per the report titled 'India Restaurant Market Outlook to 2018  Quick Service Restaurants to Drive the Future Growth' by Research and Markets, the world's largest market research store,  the Indian organised restaurant chain market has witnessed an upward trend and has grown at a CAGR of 19.1% from FY'2008 to FY'2013. The organized chain market in India includes a large number of players in the QSR, fine dine, cafes, kiosks, carts and the food court segments. The market has significantly expanded primarily owing to the high demand among the large Indian population over the years.

The fried chicken chains have witnessed a sound growth fueled by the advent of large number of national as well as international chains in the organised market. Many players in the QSR segment of fried chicken such as KFC, FFC, Bangs, Panro's Crisp Chicken, ChicKing, Hot Chix, W 'N' F, LC Systems, Mad Over Chicken and many more have expanded their reach to the smaller cities pan-India via the franchise route. Also, these brands are offering lucrative business avenues to potential partners with their different formats such as dine-in, food courts in malls and drive-ins on highways which has provided the customers an easy access to these restaurants.

Meaty growth

In the recent past, the rise in chicken consumption is also driven by its availability in modern retail stores. KFC, one of the biggest players in the QSR sector of F&B industry came to India in the mid-1990s. It was re-launched in 2004 and today it has reached to tier-II and III cities along with the metros pan-India.

NYPFC, a homegrown F&B brand offers an absolute beneficiary deal to franchisees with numerous fascinating features with its sub-brand American Fried Chicken (AFC). The chain's outlets span across various business models -kiosk format of 300 sq ft, semi-seating outlet with area of 600sq ft and fine dine across 1200 sq.ft.

Talking about the opportunities the brand offers to its franchisees, Sudhakar Chaluvadi, Director, NYPFC says: “NYPFC is a franchisee friendly organization; ours may be the only brand in the F&B industry that does not charge royalty, marketing and  advertisement fee. All that the franchisees has pay to NYPFC is a fixed monthly franchise fee, which may be the least in the industry. We strongly believe that “Our Partners Success Is Our Success”, this motto along with our “Passion for Food” and “Low Setup and Operating Costs” is helping our brand in scaling new heights.”

Driven by the thought of serving American flavours, NYPFC established AFC with a touch of Indian essence. The first NYPFC franchise outlet was opened in April 2012 while the first AFC outlet was opened in March 2013. Today, the chain has 55 outlets spread across India and the numbers are growing every month.

High on profits

LC Systems is another Indian brand that boasts of being India's fastest growing QSR chain, having 18 operational outlets and 12+ are opening soon. Aman Verma, MD, LC Systems says: “We have a clear vision of tapping virgin markets, with proving financial independence to investors to respective areas. And this strategy will be followed with additional knowledge points in future.”

The chain, LC Systems, offers turn-key solutions for all aspects like interiors, exteriors, kitchen equipments auto cad drawings and installation of the same, branding, marketing, HR solution, supply chain and accounting. Also a full management team is also provided to the franchisees to run the store, so that the investors have to just invest in any one of the specified models of the brand and enjoy their share of revenue model which assures 12 per cent return or 9 per cent of sales whichever is higher.

International entrants

French Fried Chicken(FFC), an Abu Dhabi-based brand of Mondial Foods Private Limited is ready to expand its presence in India. FFC has established itself in the Gulf region and is vying on to set up its strong network in other parts of South Asia via franchising business model. The brand has strong presence in the UAE, Sri Lanka and Kuala Lumpur and are planning to expand in Kerala, Chennai, Bangalore and other parts of North India. FFC is also planning to have tie up with PVR cinemas in malls and multiplexes of setting up a counter of FFC in India.

"French Popcorn Chicken, the first kiosk version of FFC in India is hoping  this new kiosk offering  will draw new franchise partners and excite its existing franchisee base. With the French Popcorn Chicken kiosks, we’re putting them in malls, transit stations, airports—just about any area where you have a high amount of pedestrian traffic,” says Dr Francis Cleetus, Managing Director of Mondial Foods Private Limited, India.

Another UAE based fried chicken chain, ChicKing is a rapidly growing fast-food chain in the region. ChicKing has grown from a single unit outlet to a conglomerate world over. ChicKing, established as Al Bayan Foods that the brand has been built with over a decade of commitment and unmatched quality and continues to make global expansion, by adding new menu or innovative services and outlets.

Challenges to overcome

Opening outlets at different locations but keeping ambience and food quality at the same level is a big chain asserts that today they have complete solutions to all their challenges, as they have overcome of these with different business strategies.

challenge for LC Systems. But the MD of the chain asserts that today they have complete solutions to all their challenges, as they have overcome of these with different business strategies.

“We provide fully trained and qualified staff to run the store from very first day, and after regular intervals of time we do audits to keep accounts, hygiene levels and operational issues up to date,” says Verma.

However, NYPFC believes in working closely with their franchisees from the day they sign the agreement. From site visit to equipment procurement to staff training to material procurement to M&A guidance till outlet opening, everything is assisted by the team of the brand. The outlet staff is provided with training on how to carry the day-to-day activities for operating the store either at the outlet or at their central training cum kitchen located at Hyderabad, depending on the need and situation.

What do experts think about the organised sector of fried chicken? Has it overshadowed the market of traditional tandoori chicken in India?

DR FRANCIS CLEETUS, Managing Director, Mondial Foods Private Limited, India

“Though there is a good market for traditional tandoori chicken in India but population here has started developing their tastes and is reaching out to restaurants that are offering fried chicken.”

SUDHAKAR CHALUVADI, Director, NYPFC

“There is always a market for the traditional food; something which will never go out of our culture. It's a common practice for most of Indians to taste the local food wherever we travel to. We strongly feel there is a great potential for both in franchising.”

AMAN VERMA, MD, LC Systems

“That depends on the market that you have segmented. Ours is an addition to traditional menu, now people have choice, which really boost the sales of both categories.”

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