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‘QSR has massive ability to scale up’

Friday, May 12, 2017, 16:27 Hrs  [IST]

Well renowned for its Lebanese cuisine, MM! Maroosh is one of India’s fastest growing chains of quick service restaurants. In Lebanese Maroosh means fanning the coal. Currently holding 22 outlets across Mumbai , Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Indore & Bhopal, Maroosh is a part of Impresa Hospitality. Ketan Kadam, Founder & CEO, Impresa Hospitality in an interaction with Kathryn B K shares in detail about the company’s plans to open 100 outlets by the year end and the investment the company is looking at for the expansion.

Q You had your hospitality immerse as a partner in a pioneering night club brand in the city. What made you shift to QSR as a format for your venture later on?
Night clubs are short lived and are strongly dependent on timing with states having the said rules and regulations it’s difficult to run the same by adhering to the law, further there truly is no expansion for a nightclubs, QSR on the other end has massive ability to scale up much faster, the younger generation today is all about left hand eating with 65% of the QSR audiences are under the age of 35, eating out will offer one of the best growth stories, driven by young demographics and continuing urbanisation. Furthermore adapting to a lean business model while keeping the capex low as compared to the fine dine restaurants I opened in the past (Two One Two Bar & Grill, Café Sundance & Da Vinci) is a faster path to profitability.

Q How has been the journey for Maroosh as a QSR brand? What niche the brand has been able to create since its inception?
Having survived for 17 years now speaks about the journey itself being the first brand to having introduced Lebanese cuisine in a QSR format in India, and being able to serve its star product the Shawarma to Sec right from A B & C its has carved a niche for itself in this segment. The journey has only encouraged us to explore form experiences today we stand to be the first fully back ended QSR in the Lebanese and Indian cuisine segment.

Furthermore Maroosh once again will be the first QSR in the Lebanese and Indian cuisine space to be entering the FMCG market in the coming four months selling ready to cook Gravies (Makhni Gravy, Bhuna Gravy, Black Dal) / Sauces (Garlic Sauce, Harissa Sauce) / Variants of Hummus (Roasted Garlic / Parsley Jalapeno / Sundried) under its brand name to be retailed for existing stores and E-retailers to start with.

Chicken Bhuna by Maroosh

Q Since you have set a target to open 100 outlets by the year end, could you share your expansion strategy? What are the geographies that you are looking at for expansion? Currently at a 30 store count with 16 being company owned and the balance franchised we plan to add another four company owned outlets this year and approximately 60 more franchised outlets Pan India / Asia of which we have already signed 20. This expansion primarily shall be towards Delhi / NCR, Bengaluru, Gujarat and Maharashtra. We have also signed the Master Franchise for Sri Lank taking the brand Pan Asia.

We have further signed a 30 store franchise deal with TFS (Travel Food Services) to be a part of the Indian Railways to be opened in the coming three years we have already opened with Vizag and Pune railway station.

K Hospitality Corp, the holding company of TFS, has lined up investments of INR 200 crore to expand its presence across airports and railway stations over the next two to three years.

Q What is the investment the company is looking at for your future expansion and your funding strategies?
We have recently raised a round from Unilazer Ventures and Transcontinental now with the franchise route we will have enough cashflow for the time being however we will raise for the FMCG piece mostly this year itself.

Q Considering the huge growth forecast for food service business in India, what are IHM’s plans to explore beyond QSRs?
We would consciously continue to be a part of QSR only with diversifying into the FMCG sector with Maroosh products such as ready to cook Gravies, Sauces, Variants of Hummus & Pita Bread under the brand name Maroosh to be retailed from existing outlets and E-commerce sites such as big basket.

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