Speciality Restaurants, which owns Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Cafe Mezzuna, Sigree Global Grill, Hoppipola, Asia Kitchen is trying out new formats and looking at expansion both within India and overseas. Avik Chatterjee, head-Innovation & New Formats, Speciality Restaurants, shares with Y V Phani Raj the focus areas of his company.
A major trend in the hospitality sector is going to be wet-led. ‘Wet-led’ has to do with pubs and restaurants and is the division that deals with beverages, as opposed to the ‘food-led’ part. Our group’s HAY is a wet-led bar and restaurant that focuses on conversational drinking and dining rather than the usual partying elsewhere. We are keen on weekdays at Hay than only weekends to party. We are also going to launch taptails (cocktails on tap), a concept never been done before, launching with episode one.
We are looking for cloud kitchen expansion into 15 cities of India. We are rigorously focusing on this and soon we should be delivering to every doorstep. The growth pattern for speciality restaurants has been divided into two focal points-casual dining and wet-led dining. New brands would be coming up in London, Doha and pan-India in the name of Episode and Riyasat.
Speciality Restaurants has 19 brands under it and about 125 outlets in total. We are looking at focused growth in the major metro cities of India and worldwide. Later, we will focus on our growth into tier-2 cities.
We should be expanding into Hyderabad very soon with our new wet-led brands. Then we will be eyeing tier-2 cities within the State.
We had successful opening in Dubai and are moving into another outlet there. London restaurant should be up and running by end of the year. Doha restaurant is shaping up well with a world-renowned 5-Star hotel.
We are debt-free and self-funded at the moment and would not seek to raise funds in the near future.
It takes a lot to run and manage a restaurant. The challenge comes in daily rather than FMCG business where product is machine-made and marketing is key focus. For us it’s a new challenge every hour with each guest. Hence focus and effort needs to be on point here, which makes it risky if even one of the key focus points have been missed out.