Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rasna set to foray into fast food

In a major diversification move, Ahmedabad-based soft drink concentrate major Rasna is cooking up a foray into the fast food mart with an exclusive chain of outlets retailing fast food and beverages. To be christened Devil's Workshop, Rasna's fast food chain is aimed at not just taking on industry biggies like McDonald's but also cafe majors like Barista and Cafe Coffee Day as well.
The diversification move has been brewing for the past six months and has seen Rasna set up a separate division to be spearheaded by a CEO, apart from a central kitchen at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore in A h m e d ab a d , sources said. Rasna plans to set up small outlets of around 600 sq ft and kiosks at malls, multiplexes, educational institutions and transpor tation hubs, sources added. Interestingly, while the National Institute of Design was roped in to design the concept as well as outlets, Rabo Bank carried out the viability study.
The outlets, the first of which are to be rolled out on a pilot basis at a multiplex in Ahmedabad this weekend, will retail not just fast food delicacies like pizzas, croissants and patties but also donuts, pastries as well as hot and cold beverages. While the cold beverages will come from the Rasna stable, the company has joined hands with Italian coffee player Caffe Vergnano for its coffee offerings, sources said. When contacted, Piruz Khambatta, chairman of the Rs 300-crore Rasna group, confirmed the move and said the company was eyeing revenues of nearly Rs 100 crore from the food business by 2009-end.
"We plan to target nearly a dozen tier-II cities, including Pune and Chandigarh, for the fast food business, for which we will also take the franchisee route,'' Khambatta said, adding that the company will set up a central kitchen in each city it enters. Explaining the reason for the foray, Khambatta said: "We found that the biggest growth in the food retail segment is coming from ready-to-eat foods due to changing lifestyles and onset of modern retail.''

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