[an error occurred while processing this directive]
   India's Only Hospitality Business Weekly Issue dated - 9th June, 2003
On Campus
Food & Beverage
 Network Sites
 Group Sites
E-Mail this page || Print this page

First Western Region Outlet Slated For August 2003
TGI Friday’s Will Finally Have A Mumbai Presence

Anindita Chattopadhyay - New Delhi

Bistro Hospitality, the master franchisee of the TGI Friday’s 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.

The 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,” said Roy.

A 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 Friday’s 500 odd international delicacies.

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.

<Back to top> 

© Copyright 2003: Indian Express Group (Mumbai, India). All rights reserved throughout the world. This entire
site is compiled in Mumbai by The Business Publications Division of the Indian Express Group of Newspapers.
Please Email our Webmaster for any queries / broken links on this site.

This site is optimized for Internet Explorer 4+ or Netscape 4+