Pizza Hut franchisee beckons idli-dosa lovers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 06, 2011

sivamani   -  Business Line

It was a restaurant opening with a difference.

It was a restaurant opening with a difference. While chefs dished out mouth-watering steaming hot fried idli and dosai at the opening of the newest South Indian restaurant in town — Vaango — percussionist Sivamani cooked up a musical storm using pans, pots, spoons and other kitchen ware.

Vaango is the first casual diner from Devyani International Ltd (DIL), master franchisee of KFC, Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee.

Pure-veg chain

The pure-vegetarian chain will serve only basic food items such as idli, vada and dosai.

“A 16-month survey showed us that more than 80 per cent of the people want to eat such food items. So, we decided to keep it simple and it will be strictly vegetarian,” said Virag Joshi, President and Chief Executive Officer, DIL.

To take on the existing regional players in the South Indian eatery space, the company plans to consistently keep its price points lower than the rest.

Vaango is a three-year-old dream project of Ravi Jaipuria, owner of RJ Corp that owns DIL. This marks the foray of the largest Pepsi bottler into the burgeoning restaurant business in India.

The company plans to set up close to 100 Vaango outlets over the next few years with an investment of Rs 100 crore, said Joshi. The company-owned outlets would be a mix of high street and standalone restaurants and will also be located at high traffic zones such as airports and malls.

“Though we are franchisees ourselves, we do not believe in having franchisees. We will own the restaurants to guarantee hygiene, quality and standardised experience to our customers,” said Joshi. DIL may look at opportunities in other specialty cuisines such as Thai and Chinese, in the future.

However, it does not plan to give up on its franchisee business. It views the tier-III cities as a huge opportunity for growth and plans to roll out close to 120 franchisee outlets of its international brands, before December this year.

The total investment planned by DIL for the current year is Rs 100 crore.

Published on February 06, 2011

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