News Cafe in the Subcontinent
News Cafe will open in Delhi India in November 2009 and, with shop fittings currently underway in Hyderabad, the second store opening is expected mid-January 2010, with Mumbai following end March 2010.
The opening follows extensive market research conducted over a three-year period, in India and China, before franchising partner Numbers Only was secured in India. With its dedicated hotel and restaurant division, as well as hospitality experience within the Indian and US hospitality markets, Numbers Only approached News Cafe with an initial rollout proposal, a master license and royalty fee was negotiated and the deal signed in February 2009.
We are very excited to be breaking into new territories within India, says Alan van der Westhuizen, News Cafe GM, Restaurant Division. Unlike other parts of the globe, there is money and potential within the Indian economy. An enormous ex-patriot community exists with the presence of major corporations utilising the country’s colossal workforce. As such, initial reactions to the contemporary South African brand have been positive.
Subtle differences, select changes, but beef stays
The 200-seater Delhi store is situated within an affluent suburb, on the third floor of an up-market retail mall, with d?®cor comparable to that of any existing company interior. Subtle differences have however been incorporated using more jewel colours in fabrics. In terms of building materials, less wood and more locally quarried granite can be found on the floors, walls and counter tops.
Select changes to the menu have also been effected. Due to the trading hours of the store, (10am to 2am) the breakfast menu has been reduced considerably. Spicy flavours of a few local dishes have been added, along with rice, an Indian staple. After much deliberation, beef remains on the menu, despite the customary religious beliefs of the local Hindi population, to cater specifically to the thriving international community of the neighbourhood.
We are pleased to have found a like-minded partner in India, who shares our professional and service-driven approach to business. As the brand continues to take root and flourish outside of SA borders, we hope to give our international competitors such as TGI Friday’s, Hard Rock Cafe® and Smokehouse Grill, a run for their money, concludes Van der Westhuizen.