Indian food business has majorly attracted global food brands to explore their growth prospects in the Indian market. Known as the land of ‘Food and Agriculture’, the country has lured in more than a dozen global franchisees in less than a year’s time.
From global burger chains like Burger King, Wendy’s and Carl’s Jr to chef-driven restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, all are keen on sharing master-franchisee opportunity in India, finding a great potential to grow their business in the country.
Franchise India Group, which is a pioneer in franchising, hosted a master-franchisee show seeking participation from a mix of the global retailers and entrepreneurs seeking master franchisee, sub- franchisee or expansion opportunity in the ever-growing Indian market. The show witnessed a footfall of more than half-a-dozen food players who are planning to tap the hungry Indian market by setting their brand presence in the country.
Brands like Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill, an Australian chain of fast-food restaurants based in Sydney, Franchised Food Company, Shawarma Xpress, Steak and Shake and Barcelos to name a few participated in the event to unlock the growth potential and expand their services in India. However, Barcelos has opened its first restaurant in Khan Market, Delhi and Shawarma Xpress is also running its five outlets in the capital city, now looking at other parts of the country aggressively to expand the services.
Why a Master Franchise model?
Any brand which expands beyond the geographical boundaries either looks for a franchise opportunity to expand their business or go into a joint venture partnership to excel their services. But according to a latest research, most of the food brands which have entered the Indian market in the last two years, have chosen the franchise model to start their operations in the country.
“We believe that a master-franchise partner brings the brand to life as he has the same passion and vision to grow and expand the business in the region. And the more active the master-franchisee, the more successful is the business in the region,” believes Lovis Young, Director, Mad Mex, Australia.
However, the franchisor also looks for a local partner who is well versed with the local market and is aware of the values attached with the brand. Recognition, elasticity, brand acceptance are some of the other important criteria that makes master-franchisee most acceptable mode to expand the business.
Likewise, Steak and Shake which is in early talk with the investors to explore the food business opportunity in India shares, “The franchisee always know that we (franchisor) can give our money always to invest in their business. Hence, there is less risk of a business failure as compared to a JV.
Criteria to look into a franchisee partner
Partnership is an important opportunity for any of the businesses to expand their services and is very important to choose the correct partner before indulging into any sort of deal. Hence, before signing a deal, the franchisors look for a certain quality in his franchisee partner to start his business. The local nature of the partner, his interest for brand, clear vision and passion, all makes for a successful partner.
“We are looking for a franchisee partner who is honest, passionate, has acceptance for our brand and has resources and lots of industry expertise,” points out Stan Gordon, Founder & Managing Director, Franchised Food Co, Australia.
Meanwhile, Andrew H McNair, Head of Operations, Shawarma Express, Middle East, who is already running five outlets in the country shares, “We look for franchisees who have the ability to run our restaurant properly, sufficiently and has funds to open at least five restaurants with production and kitchen.”
Adding on the same lines, Rohit Malhotra, General Manager- Operations, Barcelos India, which opened its first company-owned outlet, comments, “Restaurant business is a very serious business and there is no tomorrow in this business, so the person with lots of passion and energy is the right partner to excel with.”
Hence, we can see that with doors of food franchising opening in India, the brands are also very selective and cautious in choosing and getting the right partners to enter into the local market.