There are three Manchester United Cafés and bars presently, operational in India — in Mulund and the Palladium Mall in Mumbai, and in Gurgoan. Following the rousing reception to the brand, the franchise plans to open 10 more cafes across the country, in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Goa, Pune and Chandigarh.
“We’re also looking to branch out in the western suburbs, and are targetting Andheri Link Road and Juhu. There are also plans for a slightly smaller outlet in South Mumbai for the townies and corporate crowd,” informs Gaurav Goenka, director, Mirah Group.
After a mega promotional plan woven around the FIFA World Cup last month, Goenka is now looking to cash in on the annual English Premier League. “The crowd-pulling schemes will depend on the importance of the matches being played that day. Once all 10 outlets are operational, we will also think of flying down some of the ace footballers as guests,” says Goenka.
Expansion plans are in place for the thali joint Rajdhani as well, now that Mirah Group has acquired a 100 per cent stake in the venture. The flagship brand should open in all the major cities, including Delhi, Chennai, Bhopal, Nasik and Allahabad. “We are also looking at new outlets in Vashi, Thane, Bandra and Juhu that should flag off in the next four-six months. And after Oman and Dubai, we are exploring Singapore, Hong Kong and London as future venues.
We are getting enquires from the US,” he says. Geonka does not intend to incorporate any major changes in the menu but says it will be more elaborate, the ambience will be more elegant and service standards will be upped. “We are also thinking of having regular festivals like a Sindhi or a Maharashtrian food fest, when we will deviate from our regular Gujarati-Rajasthani cuisines,” points out Geonka.
His Bandra-based Italian restaurant, Café Mangii, is also branching out in Powai and Andheri, and after Goa, will be travelling to Pune, Bangalore and Delhi. These cities are also on the radar for Falafels that is currently operating only out of Mumbai.
New food court?
The food court brand Palette, which has just opened in Shird, Vapi and Pune, could be entering the city next. “We are also looking at Mumbai but the concept of serving different cuisines under one roof works best in tier-two cities,” explains Goenka.
Novelle, that caters to select clients like Infosys in Mysore, the Aditya Birla Hospital and the Malabar Hill Club in Mumbai, is also growing. “We could start serving hygienic, high on nutrition meals to Infosys in Banglaore next. And Billabong High School, whose Thane branch we cater to presently, could use our services for its other branches too,” says Goenka, adding that talks are on with other international brands but it’s too early to divulge details.