American burger chain Carl’s Jr opened its first store in India recently, with plans to have five operational outlets by the end of this financial year in the Delhi-NCR region. The first store was opened in South Delhi.
CybizBrightStar Restaurants Pvt Ltd, which is the Indian master franchisee of the burger chain, said it could look at bringing in a strategic investor in due course of time. The company said it has long-term plans of opening 100 stores in the next seven to 10 years.
Sam Chopra, Group Chairman and Founder of CybizCorp, said the company is in the process of completing Series A funding of about $5 million. “We already have three investors on board and are in the final stages of talks with two additional investors.”
The company raised about $2 million through private equity investors, including Delhi-based Now Foods in July. More recently, cricketer Yuvraj Singh-led YouWeCan has picked up an undisclosed amount of equity in CybizBrightStar Restaurants. Singh will also endorse the burger chain in the country.
“Once we open a couple of restaurants, we will look at diluting equity further to bring in a strategic investor who can help us scale up and build Carl Jr’s brand in the country,” said Chopra.
He said the company will first look at tapping into various catchment areas in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida, and then take the brand to other northern regions, such as Chandigarh and Jaipur and states like Punjab.
The burger chain, known for its char-grilled burgers and hand-breaded chicken tenders, is positioned between low-priced quick service restaurants and premium-priced fine dining restaurants. “We have got a niche, where we offer fast food with an experience. We offer premium quality products at the right price,” he added.
Carl’s Jr comes at a time, when the burger segment is heating up with the entry of new brands like Burger King, Johnny Rockets and Wendy’s.