International brands to get a taste of India this year

Sangeetha Chengappa Bangalore | Updated on July 09, 2014

Fatburger, Lord of the Fries, La Tasca set to enter the fastfood market

The $13-billion Indian QSR (quick service restaurant) market, which is growing at 25-30 per cent annually, will see a lot more buzz with the entry of three international brands this year — Fatburger, Lord of the Fries and La Tasca.

Fatburger, a US-based premium burger chain that operates in 27 countries, will open in Cyber City, Delhi NCR, this month. Vazz Foods Pvt Ltd, the master franchisee for Fatburger in North India, will deliver the signature Fatburger experience with a variety of burgers customised to match the Indian palate.

“Vazz Foods has hired the best chefs to completely overhaul the original beef burger menu and customise it to match Indian tastes; much like McDonald’s, KFC and Domino’s did to popularise their food in India. The gourmet chicken, veggie and lamb burgers at Fatburger will be priced at 30-40 per cent more than McDonald’s burgers,” said Gaurav Marya, Chairman of Franchise India, a company that facilitates the entry of international brands into the country.

Vazz Foods is planning to open five 1,500 sq ft Fatburger restaurants at an estimated cost of ₹1.5 crore each by December.

All-veggie QSR chain

Lord of the Fries (LOTF), an Australian family-owned vegetarian QSR chain, has set its sights on the predominantly vegetarian Indian market. It will open its first restaurants outside Australia, sized between 600 and 1,000 sq ft in Delhi NCR this October. SGK International, promoted by Rajiv Vohra, has won the pan-India market franchise rights for opening 50 restaurants over 10 years.

While the first three-four restaurants will open in Delhi NCR at an estimated cost of ₹40 lakh a restaurant, SGK plans to open in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. The fries which are freshly cut, not frozen, using less fat and fried with high quality oil can be paired with a variety of sauces in vegetarian options.

Made with love

Interestingly, the motto of the chain is “Our burgers are made with love – not animals”.

“LOTF is the first QSR chain in the country that offers fries as its core menu along with other vegetarian options such as hotdogs and burgers with mock-chicken/mutton patties made up of soy protein,” said Marya, who helped SGK ink the deal with LOTF.

The consumer move from occasion-led dining to casual dining over the last few years has inspired the entry of several international brands such as Nando’s and Chili’s into India. The latest to join the fray is Spanish Tapas bar chain La Tasca, which has 45-50 restaurants in the US and the UK.

Tapas bar

“We have been tasked with finding an Indian franchise partner with demonstrated experience and expertise to set up 30 La Tasca Tapas Bars in the top six-eight cities at an investment of €1 million over the next 10 years,” said Marya. Each restaurant will cost ₹2 crore and is meant to appeal to the well travelled global Indians as well as the youth who want to experiment with new cuisines,” added Marya.

Business Line had recently reported the entry of American brands such as Great American Cookies, Forever Yogurt and Quiznos, and premier Japanese chocolate brand Royce into the India market.

With rising disposable incomes, global exposure and the need to eat out more often, the under-penetrated India market could do with many more convenience, casual and fine dining options, according to experts.

Published on July 09, 2014

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