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Theme restaurants are the flavour of the season

india Updated: Jan 07, 2008 22:07 IST
Saurabh Turakhia
Saurabh Turakhia
Hindustan Times
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While industrialists and celebrities are known to frequent premium theme joints and restaurants, slowly a new breed of consumers has started developing a liking for theme restaurants. A number of restaurants differentiated on basis of themes and nature of cuisines are getting more popular.

Samir Chhabria, business head of Tetsuma, a Japanese joint says, “Industrialists like Ness Wadia and Anju Taraporewalla are regulars with the frequency of visit being as high as five to six times a month. However, a new segment of people has started spending time at our joint. They also like to spend a lot of money and flaunt their act of visiting our joint. On an average, each customer of this new segment gives a billing of Rs 2500 to Rs 3000 per visit.” A sixty-seater joint at Colaba, Tetsuma is a Japanese restaurant at Colaba.

Another example is Barcode, an international sports bar chain based out of Australia. Himani Modi owns its franchise in India and runs a franchise outlet in Delhi. Speaking to Hindustan Times, she says, “We have five floors in all, with good sports décor and graphics on walls and mirrors.” Modi says that on an average, the daily billing is as high as Rs 75000 to Rs 1 lakh, which definitely goes up on weekends. Corporate clients like Siemens, National Geographic etc also use the venue for throwing corporate parties. Modi also says that foreign clients also contribute to as much as 30 per cent of the annual turnover. The fact that all cricket matches are shown on LCD screens also is an added attraction for the visitors.

In the suburbs too, theme restaurants are becoming more and more popular. As suburban life gets more hectic, consumers are looking for more than just the pure vanilla experience at restaurants. This explains the gradual increase in the number of theme restaurants like Village, Machan and Rudey’s Forest Café.

Amar Jog, Director, Marketing and Business Development, Kambala Hospitality Pvt Ltd, which runs the Village theme restaurant tells HT, “We started with ‘Village’ on 15th August last year in Kandivli and from then till date, we have seen three more ‘Village’ restaurants at Ghatkopar, Thane and Vashi.” He adds that with items like puppet shows for children, mehendi artists for women folk and sing-and-dance opportunities, this makes for a wholesome experience.

On an average, the Village outlet attracts as many as 400 consumers daily while weekends see double the number of consumers. At an average ticket price of Rs 300, this works out to a business of Rs 120000 daily.

Offering a variety of vegetarian cuisine like Gujrati, Marwari and Punjabi specialities, in addition to masala milk, chaay-in-kullads as well as ganne ka ras, all provided by traditionally clad staff in an environment that’s given the look and feel of a village.

Happy with the thumping business of Village, Jog has bigger plans, “We intend to take the Village concept soon to Dubai and the UK market. The Dubai venture should take off in 2008 itself.”

Jog informs that there is another upcoming theme concept, soon opening in Vashi called ‘Umrao Jaan’, which will boast of Lucknowi specialties and North Indian food. In addition, Chowpatty- the spirit of Mumbai is also coming up soon at Raghuleela Mall.