First Western Region Outlet
Slated For August 2003
TGI Fridays Will Finally Have
A Mumbai Presence
Bistro Hospitality, the master franchisee
of the TGI Fridays in India, is in for expansion. The
company, which brought the global casual dining restaurant
chain to India in 1996 and now owns two outlets in Delhi and
one in Bangalore, is slated to open its first outlet at Kala
Ghoda, South Mumbai in August 2003, followed by another at
the MGF Mall in Gurgaon.
company has invested around Rs five crore for the Mumbai outlet.
Work on the interiors is currently on. The theme remains the
same as in other outlets. It will be positioned as a casual
dining restaurant targeting families, teenagers and working
executives. The decor embellished with signature features
like Tiffany lamps, red and white stripes, the racing scull
suspended from the ceiling promises a cheerful environment.
Confident of making it big, Sanjoy
Roy, vice-president - operations, TGIF, said, It will
be the first TGIF outlet in Mumbai and also mark our foray
into the western region of the country. We are hoping to do
good business and are expecting to break-even in three years.
In fact, a year, or year-and-a-half
down the line, Bistro is planning to open another TGIF outlet
in Mumbai. This outlet would be located in the Juhu a suburban
area in northern Mumbai. However, Bistro is not planning to
take the franchising route right now.
The expansion plan can be viewed
as fallout of the increase in gross operation profit of the
Delhi outlets. Known to be expensive, the TGIF outlets in
Delhi slashed prices on all items last December to remain
competitive and consequently witnessed more than 25 per cent
increase in business.
Perception of TGIF as a high-end
restaurant saw people coming here for celebrations, rather
than regular dining. Hence, we started sourcing out products
locally, instead of importing, so that the price can be reduced.
We also slashed our profit margin to get more repeat clients,
glance at the menu shows Indian delicacies like pav bhaji,
kathi wrap (read roll) coexist with pizzas, fajitas and Tex
Mex dishes. When asked how come the American food chain serves
Indian specialities, Roy explained, Any menu can be
a mix of 20 per cent local favourite dishes and 80 per cent
international delicacies. While the R&D in USA works with
R&D here to maintain the standard of international recipes,
we are allowed to introduce some local items.
According to him, dishes that are
spicy like chimichanga and fajitas move well, while sandwiches
and burgers do not have a major impact on sale as Indians
go for rather a big bite. As a strategy, TGIF introduces new
theme dishes every three to four months to give Indian clientele
new food items from the treasure of Fridays 500 odd
Currently, the outlets in Delhi are
running a promotion of all time favourite classic dishes all
priced at Rs 250. This time the promotion offers five
all time popular dishes like chicken and vegetarian tchoupatoulis,
spicy chicken veracruz, deli salad etc. Out of these, those
that will click with the Indian clientele will be retained
in the regular menu, said Roy.