Nukkadwala – a new Indian QSR chain by NCR-based real estate and hospitality major Vatika Group – aims to make India’s street food famous across the globe. FoodService India spoke to Director, Vatika QSR Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., Ram Wasan about the concept and theme behind Nukkadwala and about his plans to take his brand to other places in India and abroad.
What is the concept and market positioning of Nukkadwala?
Our inspiration in setting up Nukkadwala last year has been that the over five million street vendors across India who peddle tasty morsels of a variety of foods every day, thanks to them, Indians can eat their way through the streets of the country. Indian cuisine is widely accepted as one of the most broad-ranging and interesting cuisines worldwide and our regional diversity is visible in the spread and strength of the regional cuisines. Tapping the same feeling of nostalgia, we strive to provide all our consumers a service experience that encompasses warmth, good service and unrivaled cuisine. Our brand promise encompasses offering our customers authentic flavours of hand-picked regionally-popular Indian food served hygienically.
What is the culinary portfolio that is offered at your restaurants and what is the price range?
Nukkadwala operates on the theme of creating nostalgic memories by exploring flavours that can be found only at specific places and regions of India. Our dishes will want to make you go back in time and to the roots of the food on offer. We recreate the dishes you ate as a child and our aim is to stir up your vivid memories associated with it as a reminder of how awesome childhood was.
In terms of the offerings at Nukkadwala, it serves authentic and handpicked regional food specialties and flavors from every part of India. These dishes ensure that the age-old original and authentic tastes are preserved, maintained and shared with our customers. For example, we have offerings like Kutchi Dabeli from Gujarat, Bebinca from Goa, Vada Pav from Mumbai, etc.
The price range is affordable and very amenable for the masses. Samoso, for example, starts at just Rs 22 and Chattar Pattar items like Marori’s, Nan Khatai, etc., are available at just Rs 17. The average price for two people dining at Nukkadwala is approximately Rs 300.
Which are your best-selling products?
A few of our best selling products are Kutchi Dabeli, Bombay Pav Bhaji, Tiffin Meals, Amchi Vada Pav, Meerut Shikanji, and Tilla Kulfi.
What have been your key innovations in food and beverage?
The success story of Nukkadwala is due to several years of research and efforts of our product development team. We have ensured that we bring the most authentic taste with original recipes from each region so that our guests are able to experience the true flavours when dining in Nukkadwala. Our menu takes the tastes of the street to a level you won’t find anywhere else. That’s the innovation in food and beverage that we always intend to bring.
Considering the peculiarities of the supply chain in India, have you introduced any specific innovations to make your back-end operations foolproof?
We have created a supply chain system that is suited to our current operations and can be easily upgraded as we increase the outlets. Nukkadwala brings the best of both the worlds by offering authentic Indian street food along with state-of- the-art technology at kitchen as well as stores. This helps us in delivering the freshest ingredients to our customers.
With an unconventional name ‘Nukkadwala’, how have been able to align the interiors, decor and ambience of the outlets to vibe with its name?
The décor at Nukkadwala outlets is done in a way to bring alive the nostalgia and culture of India. The interiors are chic with a casual vibe. We have focused on reliving childhood memories by adding memorabilia such as comics, marbles, etc. Even our menu, if you see, has things like Phantom ciggis, Fatafat and all such things that we used to relish in the good old days.
You plan to double the number of your restaurants from the current 10 to 25. What is the roadmap?
We plan to extend our brand presence to Delhi-NCR followed by north India and Bengaluru. We will soon be taking Nukkadwala overseas by opening outlets in the Middle East, New York and London. Our expansion is carefully planned based on extensive research on markets as well as with the help of complete back-end support.
What is your location strategy?
We have models designed and operational in high street, commercial complexes and food court locations.
What have been your brand’s key achievements so far and what do you attribute them to?
We are a very young brand and are happy that our customers have appreciated our food offerings, and the ambience and design of our outlets. Also, we have achieved the milestone of opening 10 outlets across Delhi-NCR. This has been possible due to our loyal customers who have showered immense love and showed true patronage towards Nukkadwala.
In your opinion, what is the scope for making value additions in the QSR format and going forward what do you think will be the new innovations to the QSR format in India?
We are in the fast casual segment and we pride ourselves on the authentic taste of our products. Going ahead, innovations that will mark this segment will be faster turnarounds, dynamic menu with monthly specials to pique the interests of the customer, interactive ordering systems to reduce ordering time and simple customer loyalty programs to help customers take frequent visit decisions.
In which ways are you are deploying technology to make your business more efficient and customer friendly?
We use real time billing systems and our inventory and supply chain is completely integrated with the same. Our menu displays are managed from a central point to ensure singularity and
cohesiveness of communication. Our customer loyalty program is completely integrated with our billing system and operates on cloud, thereby making it extremely customer friendly.
In terms of your investment and expansion plans, what are your short-term and long-term goals for the Indian market?
We plan to continue with our current momentum in the future as well. Nukkadwala has national and international aspirations. Our expansion is carefully planned based on market demand and our ability to have complete back-end support. However, we will be expanding beyond India as per our network expansion plan. We soon intend to take Indian food to every nukkad of the world.