In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Abhay Sharma, Director, Menchieâ€™s Frozen Yogurt shares how he came up with the idea of starting frozen food outlet.
How the idea of frozen dessert came across you and why have you decided to develop this as a business?
Settled in Canada, I always wanted to come back to my home country and introduce a concept which was new for the Indian market and provided an experience much better than what we have witnessed from the domestic market. When I went into Menchie’s for the first time, I instantly fell in love with the concept and the product. I immediately thought of how it would fit the Indian market and decided to provide the best frozen yogurt experience to the Indian consumers.
People mostly opt for big name when it comes to desserts, who all are your target audience and where do you want to see Menchie’s in future?
We do not believe in target audiences. We believe in developing a brand which appeals to everyone across all categories. We at Menchie’s believe in creating a brand and twenty years from today I would like our young guests to remember how Menchie’s had been a part of their life from the beginning. I want to provide the same experience to someone who is in their fifties by providing them a happy and healthy environment and make Menchie’s their spot to relax, have some amazing family time and eat healthy frozen desserts.
How has been the response from the customers so far?
The response has been very good from all the guests that have come in. Everyone loves the fact that they make their own mix, put toppings which they like unlike the traditional full serve models where you are made to consume products a certain way. Our guests love the variety we have at the same time serving a healthier product in comparison to ice-cream. The ownership our guests get at our stores is unlike any other. Menchie’s to our guests is like their own home since they do and put what they like and not what we tell them to.
What new taste or flavors are you planning to bring this coming season?
We are working on a variety of indigenous flavors to cater to someone who might want to have that desi taste once in a while. We are constantly working on new flavors and are planning to come up with 10 new flavors this year which will take our flavor count to a total of 90.
What are your expansion plans and exactly what numbers are you looking at in terms of store count and turnover?
We are planning a pan India expansion. We like to move slow, study the market and make sure we strike the right chord with our potential guests and expansion is just an after effect once you do things right.
Online food ordering apps have certainly grabbed the customers in restaurant industry. Does it hampering your sales?
It has definitely changed the trend of the market and we acknowledge its existence. However, we believe there is a market for all the segments. If there are consumers who would like to have their food delivered at home, you have an equal or a bigger number of consumers looking to make it a family day or just going places with friends and sitting down together to have a cup of dessert at let’s say Menchie’s. We are however working on a delivery model which we should be in a position to introduce early next year for specific markets where we realize the need for home delivery.
What is your current turnover and what is your expectation for the next financial year?
It might seem a little different but I do not keep a tab on the turnover. My focus is always to do the right things and numbers would follow. Being an avid cricket fan, I like to just play my game without focusing on any target of any sort because I believe if your ultimate goal is to make money and focus on the turnover that would be the one thing you would never be able to achieve in life. I am focused on creating more smiles this financial year and even more the next financial year.