Global brands scout for local franchisees in India
Global brands scout for local franchisees in India

Indian cuisines are taking up the centre stage and becoming global. The foreign restaurant chains are also seeing greater opportunities in the Indian market. Considering the trend that major global brands are operating successfully in India, brands like Caffe Bene, Barbecue Garden, 800 Pizza and The Cherry Tree amongst other are looking for local franchisee partners to enter the Indian market.

The organised food market in India, which is estimated at Rs 80 billion, is characterised by professionally managed outlet, organised supply chain with quality control, sourcing and multiple outlets. The market is growing at a CAGR of 20 per cent annually.

Why India?

Indians have always been a food lover. With exposure to new world cuisines and the progressive middle class, knowledge for food brand, experiment with different cuisines, trying new recipes, formats and variable foods are the main driving forces that are enabling foreign restaurant and coffee chain to tap Indian market.

Planning exotic meals, bombarding customers with festive bonanzas and deals, celebrating every small occasion as a big event and making special menus for every occasion has become a culture in the country. In fact, Indian cuisine has contributed a lot in shaping international relations.

“We have so much in India which no country has. Our taste and menu changes from North to South and from East to West. We have a lot more to play with a single local flavour,” shares Hemant Oberoi, Grand MasterChef, Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai.

We have seen that major foreign chains like KFC, Mc Donald’s, Domino’s and Starbucks have placed themselves well in the Indian market. This is the major reason which is attracting other brands to enter into the Indian market.

“In India, we are evaluating various locations including New Delhi and Mumbai as well as tier-II cities. We are keen to partner with a local franchisee. Our initial focus could be on a restaurant, with a capacity of 200 patrons and at the same time, we would also like to offer an ambience similar to our facilities back home,” says Robert Beausoleil, Director of Business Development, Barbecue Garden.

Finding the right partner

In India, there is a strong demand for high quality and reasonably priced F&B services. Consumers below the age of 35 years form a key component of patrons visiting restaurants in India.

Caffe Bene is a number one coffee player in Korea and is leading Starbucks Korea in the Korean market. The unique selling point for all their cafes is unique European style interior design, global style menu and their unique star marketing process. “In order to enter the Indian market, we are looking a good and prospective Indian partner as our master franchisee. We will partner with the local franchisee to penetrate our services in the local market,” says Chris Jung, GM, Global Division, Caffe Bene.

As local partners are expert on local taste and preferences, they are well aware about the legal aspects and have knowledge of local preferences in terms of selecting location, marketing promotions and the choice of eating options, which allow global brands to place them in the Indian market. So, when global brands are entering the Indian market, they are looking for a franchisee partner to tap the country and master franchisee proves to be the best model for overseas expansion.

Meanwhile, these brands also provide their master franchisees training on various operational aspects, including food preparation and service amongst others so that they can maintain the global standard of their brand in placing their product well in the Indian market. Thus we can say that within 6-7 months, Indian food market will see more successful foreign brands offering their services.

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