In an interaction with Restaurant India, Abhir Khanna, Managing Director, Five Fat Monks talks about the idea of opening a pan Asian restaurant.
Tell us about the journey of Five Fat Monks.
Five Fat Monk is a pan Asian restaurant. The first outlet was started in January 2014 at R City Mall Ghatkopar. We are operating two company and two franchised outlets as of now. It is a dining concept and all our outlets have a live kitchen concept where customers can see what is actually being made, interact with the chef and also get the hygiene factor of the food being prepared.
How is the pricing done?
Our price is very nominal. You will spend anywhere between 350-400 in our concept per head. Food is turned around very quickly in 10-15 minutes. And, we serve food in take away noodle boxes which is very attractive.
When did you entered into the franchising business?
We started franchising about three months ago and have already closed and opened two franchised outlets in Mumbai and now we are looking to expand to other cities. We are opening two outlets each in Pune and Bengaluru and are in final stages of negotiation with these franchisees.
What are different kinds of model you are working upon?
We have three model- fast casual concept which is 800-1000 sq ft which typically needs an investment of Rs 40-45 lakh, QSR which is 500-700 sqft with an investment of Rs 20-25 lakh and the food court model where the investment is Rs 17-20 lakh.
What is the support provided to the franchisee?
We will help them set up the entire outlet- help in kitchen equipment, designing, the initial restaurant team will be given by us, the most important part is the food and our recipe, our sauces will be supplied to each outlets as we don’t want different taste at different outlets.
What are the selection criteria for the right partner?
We are looking for partners who want to run business, loves food and wants to own an F&B business because this is very hands on business which can’t be done by remote call. And, that’s the main reason we have gone franchising because we want entrepreneurs to run 5-6 outlets so that they are personally involved in the area. Having F&B background is always beneficial but it’s not the requirement. We are looking out for partners who are very enterprising, dynamic and very hands on.
How do you decide on a location?
Typically we look for spaces which have both commercial and residential crowds but there are locations which are located in either of them. Prime malls are good for food courts and we look for locations which has licenses for the existing location. However, localisation and customisation is very important.
What is your expansion plans?
We are now looking to grow out in India and look out for master franchises for important areas- including NCR and other states. We also look for single unit franchisees. Our plan is to setup 250 units in over next 3-4 years. 15 units in each major city or state depending on the consumption pattern of that area. We want to first target the metros, expanding to tier II cities.