Which Wich, with a luring spread of sandwiches and salads and an array of options for franchise partners, is ready to storm the Indian market, says Pratik Parab, Country Manager.
Inspired by his father, Jeff Sinelli ventured into dozens of successful restaurants, bars, nightclubs and the Genghis Grill, a Mongolian barbecue chain which earned him acclaim as a national restaurant developer, before he finally launched Which Wich in 2003. Thanks to its superior sandwiches, customer service, and unique ordering system, the fast casual restaurant business specializing in sandwiches and salads was a huge hit from the moment it opened its doors. From a single outlet in Downtown Dallas, Texas in 2003, the business has grown manifold to over 430 stores across 11 countries over the last 16 years.
What is the potential you see in the Indian market?
After the US, India is the second country which holds the maximum growth potential for Which Wich. The country offers a unique combination of huge customer base and increasing disposable income. With the easy availability of the essential ingredients locally in India, we will be able to offer our menu at reasonable prices.
What is your brand USP?
Which Wich is among the world’s top-10 sandwich brands. It is a superior sandwich concept where you have more meat, more cheese and more size as well. Our bread is of 7 inches long as compared to the standard 6 inches. We also have our superwiches of 14 inches compared to the foot-long. We offer over 50 sandwiches which can be crafted as salads, wraps or can be wrapped in lettuce. After Subway, Which Wich and Quiznos are the only international sandwich brands, which have gone outside the US and are expanding their franchise network.
People are now demanding healthy food options. How are you driving this change?
One of the major trends that is transforming the food & beverage industry is the demand for healthy food options. People are increasingly avoiding carbohydrates, carbonated drinks, gluten etc. That’s why we have introduced spinach and lettuce wraps in the menu. We are trying to cut down on carbs so that we can efficiently serve the customers who are looking to have something healthy and light.
Indians have unique food preferences, which are quite different from the continental menus. How are you Indianising your menu?
Which Wich is going to have a completely different menu for the Indian customers. We are removing beef, turkey and pork from our menus. Hence, we will have more vegetarian and chicken options. We will also customize our sandwiches and add gourmet sauces in order to tantalize the taste buds of Indian consumers.
How do you plan to expand in India?
We are focusing on seven regions for our franchise expansion. The focused regions are: Delhi-NCR,
Maharashtra (Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune), Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kolkata, North-East and South India, which includes Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. We are offering master franchise for a region at an investment of $40,000. The total start-up cost for a single outlet comes to Rs 1 crore with franchising rights and project development cost at Rs 65 lakh. The brand royalty is 6 per cent of the gross revenues. We prefer franchise partners who are financially stable and have prior business experience.