In an exclusive interview with Restaurant India, Jean-Pierre Corgnet, Chairman, Crepe Café shares the concept of serving both.
Started by Australian-French restaurateur Jean-Pierre Corgnet in 2001, Crepe Café opened its first restaurant in Queensland, Australia. It was expanded into West Asia in 2007. At present, there are eight outlets in Australia and 27 in West Asia.
The Inimitable Concept of Crepe
Crepe is a very traditional French dish and as per our market research, the concept was not that popular in the Indian market. We want to position Crepe Cafe as an affordable premium restaurant with a sweet spot between a fast-casual bistro and a coffee shop.
The concept of offering both savory & sweet crepes has made our brand so popular that we have started venturing in different markets. The specialty of Crepe is that it is a very versatile product. We can adapt this product in any country because the difference lies in the base of what is to be put into it. It’s a family-oriented market concept that serves our purpose of getting more popular among the youth and also making it to the list of regular cafes.
The Indian Outlook
After a successful market presence in Middle East, entering in the Indian market was on the talks for the past 3 years. India has a very mature market outlook and it was important for us to find the right partner for this venture. We wanted someone who has an in dept knowledge of the market, the location, the targets etc.
We are a brand solely focused on the crepe concept and taking this as an advantage, we have a target of opening 8-10 outlets by the end of this year and are planning to touch 100 in the next 5 years.
In India, we are going to focus on the Café structure, typically designed in the French style and stay at a very affordable range of price. I think India is a huge market for us because of its young population and a growing middle class with high spending power. Moreover, the concept of crepe is similar to south Indian Dosa, which will lead to an easier and quick adoption.
Business on Point
In the first phase of investment in the India market, we want to stay affordable to our prospective franchisees, with an initial investment of $ 75000, with 800 sq ft location with a primary focus on the Tier 1 Cities.
Unlike Australia, the Indian market is 10 times bigger and definitely has the potential to afford our business requirements.
Suiting the Indian Palate
We understand that a large number of Indians are vegetarian, as compared to France, Australia, or West Asia, so tweaking its menu to suit the Indian palate was our primary concern. We will be using 100% egg-free batter to make crepes and 70% of our menu will be vegetarian.
The first two cafes will be opened in New Delhi and Mumbai by September and the company aims to open a total of 10 cafes this year.