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Restaurateurs discuss ways to scale-up food service business at FGFI 2012
28 Mar 2012
Scaling up a business is synonymous to a huge investment. Right from funding to expanding a business, entrepreuners need to focus on certain factors that will not only initiate expansion but will also lessen the fear of losses. The pros and cons associated with expansion in foodservice business were discussed in a session titled "The Key Factors in Successfully Scaling Up Your Food Service Business (NRAI Conclave)" at the two-day Food and Grocery Forum India 2012 (FGFI' 2012) starting today at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai.
Manish Aggarwal, Director, Bikanervala Foods; Rahul Singh, Founder and Coach, The Beer Café; Rajeev Panjawani, CEO, Travel Food Services; S Venkatesh Iyer, Founder, Goli Vada Pav; Rahul Akerkar, Managing Director and Corporate Executive Chef, Indigo; and Ramesh Janardhan, Channel Head E&D, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages were the eminent proffesionals present in the panel discussion.
With consumer demands going high, restaurant chains have started to expand through the franchisee-franchisor model. Speaking more on this, Iyer said: “Our business runs on an outsourced model and the vadapavs are all machine made. So, it is easier for us to follow the franchisee business model as the quality of the vadapav is never compromised upon."
Unlike Iyer, Akerkar stressed that franchising one’s business leads to compromising on service and often causes mis-management. “Our restaurants are chef-driven and so we need to take special care of the quality and service to the clients. Expanding our business through the franchisee model is also labour intensive which is one of the major challenges in this business.” Supporting Akerkar’s views; Panjwani, who has 100 outlets in India and some in countires like Oman and Muskat; added that franchising one’s business badly hampers the brand image and brand’s vision at times. “When one opts for such a business model, every franchisee has a point of view. Deciding on a common set of rules with all the franchisees is really very difficult,” added Panjwani.
Apart from investing on a different business model, scaling up of a business also highly depends on geographical factors and food offerings. Talking more on this, Panjwani said, “We are present at almost every airport in India. For a place like an airport, we prefer providing quick-bites for the passengers. So, while expanding one should keep in mind what they are offering and who will be their consumers.” According to Manish Aggarwal, a businessman needs to focus on his target group. “Bikanervala has always targeted to provide an ethnic Indian taste to its consumers. In foreign countries too, we make it a point to provide the same quality of snacks and food items to the Indians residing there. We have an auditing team that visits the stores abroad at least three or four times a year to check the efficiency of the management and quality of food items,” added Aggarwal.
Launched in September 2007 under the chairmanship of Shri Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of Food Processing Industries and previously called the Food Forum India, this magnum opus of the food industry has grown to become Food & Grocery Forum India from this year onwards extending itself to the grocery industry as well. Currently in its fifth year, FGFI' 12 brings together ideas, concepts, and innovations from the food and grocery industry.
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