In a tete-a-tete with Rajeev Chawla, Executive Partner, Wafl Talks about the concept of bringing waffles to India.
You are globally running 50 plus WAFL outlets. Tell us about your India opening?
We are opening our first outlet of WAFL at SDA Market. We are serving guest with sweet Hong Kong and Belgian WAFL delights, served with savoury WAFL Corndogs, WAFL Sandwiches and WAFL Pies. And the new way of eating soft serve with the corn J-Tube suited guests’ taste so perfectly that the new movement of J-Tube fans was established!
Why India? What kind of market do you see for this kind of product?
WAFL was meant to come to India. It’s like stars were aligned. The team once discovered India and was totally captivated with the magical place. And the original WAFL idea seemed to suit the Indian market perfectly. QSR and waffles particularly are growing fast and catch fancy here. So, we took the challenge. The joint venture between MY BUSINESS Russia and Indian partners were created. Russian team duties - marketing and business processes optimization. Indian side managed all the customization process. Together we kept the original franchising model for fast expansion and got a huge response. Lots of entrepreneurs are interested in WAFL business and find it prospective. So, the work went with a swing.
Tell us about the store design? (Interior design, seating capacity)
Mostly stores were designed for 200-250 sqft., with a seating capacity of 8 to 16 seats. Basically, it’s a QSR format. Quirky, Lively, Innovative are just the few words to describe its ambience.
Tell us about the menu designing. Will it be waffle focused menu or there will be some addition too?
We turned the favourite WAFL dough into joyful desserts and savoury meals both, added a unique corn J-Tube for soft serve and got a various family friendly menu. WAFL delivered to India a fast food but not a junk food – delicious and healthy. And the result exceeded all the expectations.
It is believed that you will be eyeing the breakfast market. Do you see that this trend is catching up in India?
Now we perform in-depth research of consumer perceptions of product. By results we’ll adjust WAFL plans and develop the menu. Breakfast market seems to be prospective; we have various menus as it was mentioned – sweet and savoury, healthy enough for breakfast offer. We’ll keep ongoing experiments. Dozens of WAFL cafes are already mapped out for India in 2018. We have a lot to do and to say to India.
Why there is a sudden rise in the waffle trend?
As per our studies of market we find that after eating burgers and pizza for last 20 years in QSR format, the customer is looking for new food and Waffle has emerged front runner in trending new food option. The younger generation is mainly attracted to waffles and are our potential customers.
What is your expansion plan?
WAFL is set to open 80 outlets pan-India in 2018. WAFL is surely going to be a healthy delight for foodies.
Trends you see coming?
Any new foods which will give alternate to so called burgers and pizzas. We are also planning three more brands in near future with new trending foods from all over the world.