Brew Berrys Hospitality Pvt Ltd is a self-funded start-up formed by young hospitality professionals Ankur Gupta and Ronak Kapatel. Their first café came up in Vadodara in 2008 with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh. Today, Brewberrys – The Coffee Bar is a chain of cafés and snack bars. After attaining extensive expertise in café operations, the company ventured into a national expansion drive in 2010 by taking the franchise route. Ankur Gupta Director & Co-founder, discusses the brand’s growth, and expansion across Tier 2 and 3 cities
How is the Brewberrys Café different from others of its ilk?
Brewberrys cafés strive to become a common meeting place and a daily necessity of the locality or workplace; a comfortable place to meet friends, to read a book, play some music or just to spend good time with friends and family. With the growing demand for quality coffee, localised menus and great service, Brewberrys capitalises on its vicinities to build a core group of repeat guests. Though the idea of a café chain is quite basic and traditional, however, what separates us from our competitors is the freshly prepared snacks menu, a quality beverage menu complemented by live food preparation, bakery products, as well as free books and board games for its patrons. The idea is to have a friendly neighbourhood or ‘Betterhood’ café as we like to call it.
What are the essentials for a franchisee of your brands?
Our cafés are spread across 200 to1,000 sqft area; the subsequent investment would be in the range of Rs 8 to 25 lakh, respectively. In terms of equipment, we would require a Coffee Machine, Coffee Grinder, Griller, Pizza Oven, Blender, Deep Freezer, Saladette with GN Pan among others. The initial training to the staff for any new outlet is provided at the Head Office, and any subsequent training is provided at the outlet itself.
Which Tier 2 and 3 cities are performing well with respect to your brands?
Cities like Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Pune, Patna, Jaipur are doing extremely well. The average sales in these regions are around Rs 4 lakh per month. The burgeoning demand in non-metros and Tier 2 cities, rising per capita income, increased literacy and rapid urbanisation have caused tremendous growth and change in demand patterns for café chains. Brewberrys cafés’ comprehensive menu are glocalised to suit the tastebuds and demands of consumers across the country. As a result, Brewberrys has achieved better penetration rate in tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India, and by developing a refreshed café culture.
What does Brewberrys exclusive arrangement with TCS to provide F&B services at Passport Seva Kendras across India entail?
Brewberrys is an exclusive F&B vendor in the Tata CommunicationServices operated 78 Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) across 64 cities. As part of the arrangement, Brew Berry Hospitality has set up Quick Serving Counters (QSCs) under the Brewberrys Snack Bar brand. The QSCs are kiosks built on areas ranging from 60 to 150 sqft space at the PSKs, where the Snack Bar strives to provide the best snacks and beverages at optimum price points.
The Passport Seva Program is a strategic Mission-Mode-Project (MMP) under the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP) of the Government of India. It is being executed through a Public Private-Partnership (PPP) between MEA and TCS. Brewberrys has partnered with TCS for a period of 6 years. The pricing is regulated by MEA. All 78 snack bars were started in just four months; it was an amazing learning experience. Managing the PSK snack bar operations has brought enormous confidence for the entire team as we now manage teams, vendors, and daily operations across India.
What are your expansion plans?
At present, there are more than 40 cafés running under the Brewberrys – The Coffee Bar brand across 15 states. Another 200 stores are being planned under the Brewberrys – The Coffee Bar & Brewberrys Snack Bar brands in the next three years. These units will be a combination of franchisees and company-owned stores. We are open to start our outlets pan India. Currently, in total, we are 125 stores strong and intend to reach 250 stores by end of 2015.
What is your perception of the cafe culture and it’s future potential?
With the Indian middle class consumer ready to spend more and be a part of global lifestyle and culture, coffee parlours in the country are on an expansion spree. We have seen this trend increasingly becoming popular in Tier 2 and 3 cities of India. The compounded annual rate of growth is expected to be 25% and will continue to grow with similar pace in the next few years. There is potential for a café in every street of urban India and with such potential; the café story has just begun in India. In fact, cafes and QSRs are set to complement urban development. Unlike in the past when cafes were a premium segment, cafes are slowly becoming a part of our daily lives, and a necessity of sorts.
How is Gujarat evolving with respect to cafes?
Gujarat has always had an eating out culture; people have taken a liking to the café culture here and thus the café business is set to boom in the coming years.
What learnings would you like to share with potential entrepreneurs?
We knew how to make good coffee but Brewberrys taught us how to SELL good coffee. We learnt to emphasise on the overall café experience of a guest. The initial days tested our resolve to persist with Brewberrys even when there were few takers for franchisees, and the concept itself was doubted. As a budding entrepreneur, it is very important to believe in the venture and nurture it with patience. Our motto is to “Do it with Passion, or Not at all..!”