In an interaction with Restaurant India, Ashish Saxena, CEO & ED- TexMex Cuisine which runs Chili’s restaurant in India talks about growing the brand in India.
On expanding Chili’s in India
In terms of growth we are looking at expanding now as never before. People have become much more addicted to the brand and cuisine now. We have already tied up with two restaurants that we have signed and three more are there in pipeline. We will open five in next six months time. So, we will take the number count from 10 to 15 which is almost 50 per cent. We see great resonance with the customer the more we open the restaurant.
Market looking at
We will be looking at Mumbai and Bengaluru as a market. We will open three in Mumbai and two more in Bengaluru and one in Chennai. We will look at Pune and some other market as well.
Effect of demonetisation in restaurant biz
I think from the business side of view brands and restaurants which have more cash orders were highly affected and the people who were paying in cash have stopped or reduced the frequency of eating out. In brands like ours we have seen a minimum effect since most of the transactions are done via cards.
Last financial year we grown at 14 per cent year on year same store sales growth. This year we are looking at 35-40 per cent growth with new stores opening but at same store level we are at 5-6 per cent growth.
International trends hitting India
Fresh food will be there. People are looking at eating fresh food. Frozen food which can be quickly warmed up and served is gone out. We as a brand doing everything from scratch at our restaurant. Secondly, presentation is taken care of. People are looking for a presentation which is more innovative and contemporary. Being a chain we can’t do much to make things more complicated but using small ways to make it look better. We are doing lots of innovation on how our burger looks. We are doing fries in a basket and other such innovations.
Breakfast as a trend
We actually tried breakfast menu in Bengaluru but since most of our outlets are in mall it doesn’t do biz because malls do not have a breakfast business and our most of the locations are in mall. And, I don’t see these trends as yet for my kind of brand.
Innovation is the key
Our next menu is completely a new menu of Burgers called ‘The art of burgers’. The burgers are quite different from the burgers we have been seeing as of now. We will also introduce a specific bar menu giving them a wider variety which will help us drive sale at night for people who come just to have drink.