In an exclusive interview to Restaurant India, Edwin Ng, shares about his plans for entering into the Indian market.
Tell us something about your brand?
We are a fast casual brand in Singapore and our main focus is on chicken and salads. It was 10 years ago that we set up the restaurant at Centre Business in Singapore selling sandwiches. And, after a while I noticed that a lot of girls are coming to our restaurants and they were pulling the boys out. But the boys were not happy. So, we started selling salad, we added chicken, salmon, berry in our menu. So, there was protein along with salads and we can catch on both the crowds.
What all consists in your menu?
We have a very varied range of salads. That goes from khuskhus, keemna and brown rice to leafy salads and brown salads like chicken, bacon and potatoes. We have a wide range of salads, sandwiches, brekkie, juices and platters.
How many outlets are you operating at present and what is the expansion plan?
We are operating 9 outlets in Singapore. We are opening one at BGC in Philippines by July.
How about your franchise penetration?
Most of the outlets are owned by franchisee. Singapore is a highly competitive landscape and franchising is a good idea to grow in the market and expand faster enabling the product reach in market through franchising. And, we think that we entered into franchising by chance because when we opened our second outlet the enquiries kept coming in and with one franchisee who setup a small store to another small store. Today, she is operating two restaurants and a small kiosk. My first franchisee is a multiple unit owner and the other franchisee is operating single outlet.
What is your preference looking for a partner in India?
I think we are looking at someone who has an interest, we can rely on; make sure that operating standards are higher too. I think the operation we bring in, the concept is huge as I see different market has different regulations, bureaucracy. So, having a local partner to negotiate and solve other legal landscape is quite important to us and we hope we will take off Indian market.
When can we see you entering India?
It all depends a lot on Franchise India; we would work with them to find the right partners in Indian market. And, there should be mutual passion and understanding for the brand and we will work on it.
What is the number count that your brand can count on in India?
I have no idea, this country is huge. May be we can have 20 outlets in each of the top five cities.
What is your plan expanding your brand in Singapore and other regions?
We are thinking to open 20 stores in Singapore in next two years. I just went to Vietnam and we are looking at it as a market to be, Malaysia by next year and India hopefully.