Canadian QSR chain Pita Pit now plans to expand through franchise model in India and will also launch its website for taking orders online by mid of July. Virat Mohan, Executive Director, Pita Pit India, shares details about the three formats of the chain in the country and the way ahead.
How many formats do you operate in India?
We operate three formats in the Indian market. When we set up the first outlet in India, we opened a 450 sq.ft.restaurant at Cyber Hub in November targeting the corporates. It had 8 covers inside and 16 covers al fresco. Almost Rs 40 lakh was invested in the set up. In February, we opened a takeaway at Select CityWalk, Delhi, spread over 215 sq.ft.and drawing an investment of Rs 30 lakh. Now we have opened a cafe style format in Greater Kailash I, which is a high street, covering an area of 1,500 sq.ft. The new outlet has an elaborate menu as we are offering freshly brewed hot coffee, fresh juices, more desserts, and organic green tea. An appetiser section is another recent addition to the menu. For the GK outlet, we have invested around Rs 75 lakh. So far, overall we have invested Rs 7 crore.
What are your top sellers?
Vegetarian Falafel sandwich is a top seller across all the three outlets. In non-vegetarian, Chicken Ceaser (smoked chicken and bacon) is a hit among our customers. The average ticket size at Pita Pit is Rs 250.
How many sandwiches do you sell everyday?
At Cyber Hub, we sell 225 sandwiches per day, at Select CityWalk the figure is close to 200, while for the recently opened GK outlet on Sundays we sell around 270 odd sandwiches.
What are the key challenges faced?
Supply chain during the peak summer season is a major challenge as it affects the quality and freshness of the products used in our menu. To tackle the same we use refrigerated trucks and insulated boxes for packaging. Special packaging has been developed for home delivery which is made up of 100 percent recyclable paper and has food-grade ink printing on it. The eco-friendly packaging costs us 50-60 percent higher as compared to the normal packaging, but as long as it maintains the quality, we are comfortable with it. We run and operate our own logistics and supply chain. Currently, we have one warehouse at Ghitorni, Delhi, which can feed about 10 outlets. We monitor the vendors to keep a check on the quality. At present, we have 10 vendors on the whole. Our ingredients are all sourced domestically. High attrition is yet another problem so we ensure to pay competent salaries to our staff and also train and groom them.
How much have you spend so far on marketing and promotional activities?
It’s been just seven months since we started operating and so far we have spent around a crore on mass media advertising for each upcoming outlet.
What are your future plans?
We plan to add two to three more outlets this fiscal through the franchisee route which we plan to begin in the next two months. As of now, we are targeting to expand in Delhi-NCR only. The upcoming outlets could be any of our three formats depending on the area available with the franchisee. The franchisee would be expected to invest Rs 35 lakh to Rs 40 lakh on an average. Currently, our preferred location for the upcoming outlets would be West Delhi, post which we would look at expanding in Noida.
With the launch of our GK outlet, we have also started home delivery from the Cyber Hub and GK restaurants.
Post our consolidation in Delhi-NCR market, we would like to open more warehouses in cities like Punjab, Ludhiana, Chandigarh which would act as central feeders for all the outlets in the respective regions. By mid of July we will also launch our website for online ordering.
For this fiscal, we are targeting a turnover of around Rs 5.5 crore.