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‘Carl’s Jr. will offer range of products specifically designed to meet the Indian palate and dietary needs’ - Samir Chopra, Chairman, Cybiz Corp

Delhi-based Cybiz BrightStar Restaurants, after signing a development agreement for 100 Carl’s Jr premium Burger restaurants with US-based CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc, is all set to roll out these restaurants commencing from Delhi NCR next month. Samir Chopra, Chairman, Cybiz Corp in conversation with HOSPITALITY BIZ reveals the company’s roll out plan, the USP of the international Burger brand, and the business strategy…

Tuesday, May 19, 2015, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]

Q.What kind of opportunities do you see for one more QSR Burger brand in the India food service space considering the already crowded fast food market place?
A.The QSR trend is evolving and the time is right for a premium burger quick-service restaurant such as Carl’s Jr. to enter India, as we are witnessing a ‘Burger Revolution’ in our country, a parallel phenomena that was witnessed in the Pizzas and Pasta category a decade back. The advent of multiple brands in the premium burger category in the recent past bears testimony to this trend.

The consumer behavioral pattern, rising disposable income and increase in double-income households are playing a large part in the growth phenomenon. The concept of eating-out is surely catching up in India, as there has been an increasing trend with an average urban Indian who use to eat out two times in a month but in the present scenario he/she eats six times in a month which is as close to the other Asian countries, this clearly indicates that there is a huge opportunity for QSR market in India.

Q.What is the USP of Carl’s Jr Burger  compared to other already popular brands? What kind of tweaking are you planning to the menu to make it relevant to Indian palate?
A.Carl’s Jr. is known for premium products based on our wide variety of fresh, big and delicious char grilled burgers that lead the industry in taste, quality and innovation. Carl’s significantly leads in premium quality burgers and most unique Char grilled burger.

In India, we will offer a range of products specially designed to meet the Indian palate. We have been doing an extensive research on sauces, toppings and vegetarian patties which we know will suit the palate of Indian consumer. We char grill our burgers over an open flame for a unique and distinctive taste, we hand scoop our shakes, hand bread our chicken and make all of our products to order because fresh ingredients and preparations taste better.

Q.What is the kind of design, product offerings, real estate space requirement of a typical Carl’s Jr outlet?  Do you have different formats other than QSR?

A.In India we will focus on the core strengths of our brand:
  1. Premium Quality, Best In Class Menu featuring both vegetarian and non vegetarian options
  2. Premium Service and Delivery Systems with products that are made fresh-to-order and delivered to your table, and free drink refills for our guests
  3. Premium Facilities with a contemporary, upscale California, themed decor
  4. Innovative Menu Offerings and  Fresh Preparations
    1. We will offer some of our signature flavour profiles that resonate with consumers around the world such as Portobello Mushroom Burger, Western Cheeseburger, Jalapeno Burger, Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders Sandwich, Hand-scooped Real Ice Cream Shakes.
    2. We will also offer a range of products specifically designed to meet the Indian palate and dietary needs.  We have been doing extensive research on, cravable and flavourful sauces ,toppings and vegetarian patties which we know will excite the palate of Indian consumer
    3. We char grill our burgers over an open flame for a unique and distinctive taste, we hand scoop our shakes, hand bread our chicken  and make all of our products to order because fresh ingredients and preparations taste better.
    4. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants in India will not offer any beef options on its menu
  5. A Youthful Brand Image: speaking directly to our target audience of young hungry guys and gals who have discerning tastes and love to experience international brands and new and exciting tastes
  6. Edgy – “Cut-Through” Advertising that stands out in the market while also assuring that local cultural and customs are taken into consideration
  7. Maintaining Quality food is the foundation of our brand.  We differentiate ourselves from the competition by offering premium, best-in-class products that taste better than our competitors.  Our products are often made with better quality ingredients than the products offered by our competitors, for example, Hand Breaded Chicken Tenders and Hand-Scooped Real Ice Cream Shakes. 
CKE Restaurants has a world class quality assurance department that qualifies suppliers, monitors their production and verifies that all products are produced to our exacting specifications. Additionally, we maintain food quality through the proper execution of our restaurant operating system where our products are “made fresh to order” when ordered by our customers. 

Q.What is your roll out plan in India market? What kind of investment are you planning in the next couple of years to set up these outlets, commissary kitchen, logistics, etc?
A.Carl’s Jr., through Cybiz BrightStar Restaurants will be developing 100 restaurants initially. The initial few stores will launch in Delhi NCR. Moreover, Carl’s Jr. will be targeting the development of tier II and III cities once it initially launched in the Delhi and NCR area and other Tier 1 cities.

Q.What is your business model for expansion?
A.Initially all the restaurants will be company owned and company operated. However, the long term goal is to award franchisee of the restaurants to those who demonstrate quality such as the required business acumen, experience, passion and zeal to open, run and successfully manage Carl’s Jr. restaurants. Franchising has been very successful for CKE in the US and overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is 74 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 17 percent of the system. Outside the US, CKE is nearly 100% franchised and we plan to open franchised restaurants here in India as well.

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