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In the fast evolving scenario, where restaurant owners are playing around getting the best business, theme restaurants could serve as money guzzler to them.
It was way back in early 1990s that few of the restaurant legends started working on a theme to attract more customers' to the outlet. Chor Bizare was one of the first trend setters in the country inspired by the 'Chor Bazaar'. The restaurant has a collection of objects d'art, memorabilia and bric-a-bracs from the bazaars of India. The trend got popular and today there are a dozen of restaurants operating under a particular theme.
In today's scenario, the greatest trouble for the restaurant owner is to attract customers to their new restaurant, and also to sustain them for a longer period of time. People are getting more attracted by the design of the restaurants, rather than the offers they notice on the table. And, this particularly has given a rise to the theme based restaurants in India.
Kaidi kitchen was started in December 2012 by three friends Rohit Ojha, Ankit Madhogaria and Saurav Aggarwal in Kolkata out of the need that pure vegetarian fine dine restaurant was not easily available in the city as they believed 'Fine-Dining' is an art. “We did the trial before completely launching the outlet. We gave two choices to customers either sitting at jail and having food or observing people who are preparing food in the jail,” pointed Ojha, One of the Co-Founders.
Ask any restaurateur and he will be quick to conquer that theme restaurants drive much more customer attention and business to that of a normal outlet. And to keep a pace with this, Lite Bite Foods promoted by Dabur scion Amit Burman is also driving good business from its theme restaurant houseboats lazing around the idyllic Kerala backwaters. Just close your eyes to savour the pleasant memories of the rejuvenating monsoons gushing away as you sit in your verandah on your favourite planter's chair, sipping your cup of monsoon Malabar.
The brand has done amazing business in India and with this they have got a confidence to expand the brand to other regions and have opened their first outlet in Dubai. Also, UAE is a fertile ground for brand expansion and revenue growth. Likewise, Umang Tewari who has some amazing concepts under a single umbrella is getting good business on his theme restaurants which differ from each other. “We invest Rs 3-4 crore in setting per outlet and our return on investment is atleast 30% per anuual year,” pointed Tewari who owns restaurants like Junkyard Cafe which has a Junk interior.
Entering the franchise model
As we all know, franchising is the fastest move to expand the brand, these chains are not far when it comes to entering such deals. Kaidi Kitchen, which was started in 2012 in Kolkata, entered the franchisee model in March 2014 by opening its first outlet in Chennai and second in Kolkata in December 2014 being quick on response and expansion of its outlets.
“Our first outlet was located at Camac Street Kolkata and when people from North Kolkata used to visit our outlet, they complained to us for not operating the outlet near to them, so you can sense the response that we are getting from our customers,” said Ojha.
Not only this, the newly opened cafe in Delhi, Cafe Dalal Street, which is based on Stock Exchange concept is looking for expanding the brands in the city and other markets. “Going forward in about two year's time, we would like to have six outlets down the lane. There are lots of ideas right now, but, stock exchange has lot of potential. So, the idea is to make it a big chain and then probably move on to other concepts,” said Vidit Gupta, Co-Owner, Cafe Dalal Street.
And, going by the fact that theme based restaurants give different ambience than the regular ones, and restaurant owners today know that they can have more customers' to them by taking dining experience to a whole new level and what could be better than an interesting theme.