"On Independence Day, we will be opening three of the four outlets planned in Chennai. Ultimately, we plan to have around 35 or 40 Ammi's Biryani outlets here and also look at tier-II cities," N. Sharief, chairman and managing director, TMA Hospitality Services, told IANS.
Operating a chain of 36 outlets in Bangalore, the Rs.20 crore TMA Hospitality is for the first time entering a new market.
According to Sharief, the company will set up a big commissary here later this year with a capacity to make around 10 tonnes of biryani per day which would cater to around 40 outlets.
"We will be opening four-five outlets per month here and in Bangalore four more outlets will be added taking the total number of our restaurants there to 40. Next fiscal, we will be in Delhi and Mumbai would follow that," Sharief added.
Funded by Saif Partners, a private equity firm, TMA Hospitality as a policy operates its own restaurants and does not look at the franchisee model for now.
"We had three franchisee outlets in Bangalore but later bought out two," he said.
According to Sharief, each store involved an outlay of around Rs.25 lakh and the break-even happened in the third month.
Packed in a box, the chain's biryani - chicken/mutton - is delivered at homes like pizzas within 45 minutes failing which the customer can enjoy it for free.
"Each outlet would cater to customers within a radius of four km ... as a result our boys stick to the delivery-time promise. Around 60 percent of our revenue is from delivery orders and the balance from dine-in and takeaways," Sharief said.
According to him, Ammi's Biryani portions (around 550 gram) are larger than what the competition in Chennai offers for the same price.
Sharief said the company will soon launch a special kids' menu which will be attractive.
"The biryani will be less spicy and will be attractive to look at. Similarly, to cater to the Chennai market we will be adding 'Virundhu Biryani' and 'Prawn Biryani' to the menu card," he said.
Virundhu Biryani which will have more spices and masala can be said to be close to Ambur Biryani, he added.
On the absence of seafood biryani (fish, prawn) in his menu card, Sharief said: "There was not much of a demand for that in Bangalore. With entry into markets like Chennai, we will be adding more biryani varieties like prawn biryani."
"Compared to other meats - chicken and mutton - seafood is fragile. We will have to first tie up the backend. While we have decided to launch prawn biryani, we are yet to decide on fish biryani," Kaushik Roy, director, told IANS.
--IANS (Posted on 13-08-2013)