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Home / Business / Speciality Restaurant Ltd to focus on cloud kitchens

Speciality Restaurant Ltd to focus on cloud kitchens

The owner of Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta focusing strictly on profitable growth
Two of the six planned cloud kitchens abroad will be in West Asia.
Two of the six planned cloud kitchens abroad will be in West Asia.
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Our Special Correspondent   |   Calcutta   |   Published 16.09.22, 12:54 AM

Speciality Restaurant, the owner of Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta dining chains, is pivoting its future strategy around cloud kitchen in contrast to expansion by brick-and-mortar restaurants — with a strict focus on profitable growth.

The company plans to open around 30 more cloud kitchens across the country and few abroad, including one in London, compared with only 6 restaurants in the next 18 months, even as guests return to sit-in dining with gusto with the gradual relaxation of pandemic-led restrictions.

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Takeaways now constitute about a quarter of revenue for Speciality. The contribution of this segment, served by the low-cost cloud kitchens, continues to be resilient. Delivery used to be only 6-7 per cent of the business pre-pandemic.

This has prompted the company, promoted by Bengali entrepreneur and chef Anjan Chatterjee, to refocus its attention to the plug-and-play model of cloud kitchen.

“The business model has turned on its head post 2020. Our focus is on same store growth and expansion of offering by cloud kitchens which operate at over 70 per cent margin compared with mid 40s for restaurants. Brick and mortar will not be stopped but all decisions are being made on the basis of store metrics, return on investment,” explained Chatterjee.

Two of the six planned cloud kitchens abroad will be in West Asia.

Plans are afoot to open Mainland China, the power brand of the company, in London, where Speciality has set up Chourangi in a JV that serves Calcutta cuisine.

Chatterjee said a location has been identified for a cloud kitchen of Chourangi in London.

Investment in a cloud kitchen usually costs a fraction of restaurants even though the company’s new stores will be more compact than before.

During the pandemic, Speciality closed down a number of loss-making stores, cut manpower, created kitchen in kitchen, and migrated from rental model to revenue sharing with the real estate owners.

The company has also ventured into ready-to-cook packaged food, with Mainland China branded sauces.



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