Mad Mex is an Australia based fast-casual restaurant known for its burritos with over 52 restaurants in the country. In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Clovis Young, Director, Mad Mex shares his plan for tapping the Indian market.
Tell us something about your brand Mad Mex. What are the number of outlets you are currently operating and your plans for expansion?
We are currently operating 52 restaurants in Australia and also planning to open 10 more outlets in the next 12 months. We have a master franchise operating in New Zealand with seven restaurants and are planning to open three more restaurants in the next 12 months.
We are also planning to enter the Indian market as well and through our analysis we found our product is most suitable for India. Our current customers include many Indian citizens living in Australia and the feedback we get from them is very positive. So, this is probably the driver and with the customer demand and product quality, our product is much suitable in this market.
You are operating under the fast casual segment. How do you think that this segment will take over the QSR customers?
The traditional QSR arrived in India in the last decade in the form of KFC, McDonald’s and Starbucks with reasonably good success. I don’t think it’s been easy, but it is now developed. What we have seen in Australia as well as outside Australia, there is a desire for better quality food and with more of a restaurant experience at reasonable price point. In many cases, food offered is of higher quality so it is trustworthy with no added artificial ingredients or flavours. It is a clean, real and healthy food concept. And I believe that there are more opportunities for fast casual restaurants with restaurant experience and at reasonable price points.
When can we see Mad Mex entering the Indian market?
It will approximately take 12 months for us to set up and launch the brand in the Indian market. We have considerable interest from our Australian franchise partners who are keen to bring the brand from Australia to India.
Are you in talk with the investors to open the restaurants in India?
Yes, we are in talks with some and moreover we want to attract the local investors also through conferences and meetings. We have done well in Australian market which is one of the biggest food economies of the world with presence across all the major shopping centres. So, I think we have the respect and creditability to speak with the highest levels of investors and operators in India.
Who do you see as your target customers in the Indian market?
We will definitely target the younger generations who are mainly the early adopters. We will definitely work on the price points, roughly speaking, 300 rupees for main course and drinks while 500 rupees for a meal per person. So any person, who can afford that, falls in the category of our targeted customers.
What is the unique marketing strategy that you adopt at Mad Mex?
We offer uncompromising commitment to quality and freshness. We get specific spice and chillies from Mexico to offer true Mexican product which is loud and series with very high quality ingredients. Our goal is to produce the world’s best burritos as it is our signature dish.
What number of restaurants you are looking for the Indian market?
In our 5-year plan, we are looking at 50 restaurants in Indian market, but as the Indian economy grows, the count may get doubled and it can also reach to 250. In the first instance, we are looking to enter 4-5 markets with 10 restaurants in each market.
What are the markets that you are targeting at?
We are mainly targeting the big and metropolitan cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata with people having high disposable income and leisure.
Are you looking for a joint venture or a master franchise opportunity for your brand in India?
We are certainly open for all the opportunities and we are looking for the right partner who is able to help us to deliver Mad Mex brand and realise its potential. It is a great opportunity in India. If we find a partner who believes that master franchise is the right model then we are certainly happy with that.
What are the criteria that you are looking for in a partner?
Ideally, we are looking for someone having experience with hospitality and retail, somebody who has the capability to open more number of stores. We are open to the national master franchise and also the divisional master franchise.