Chennai : After 15 years of focussing on the Southern markets, fast food chain Marrybrown is turning its eyes elsewhere. The chain now plans to expand to the Northern and Western markets to chart its growth story.
Marrybrown, which introduced the concept of burgers and fried chicken to Chennai way back in 1999, is also planning to rope in a brand ambassador likely from the sports arena to engage with the youth.
Stating that the brand’s USP was its localised flavour, S Ajith, director, Marrybrown India says that its ‘hot touch spicy version’ of fried chicken has helped the brand.
Of Marrybrown’s total menu mix, 65% is fried chicken, while the balance is rice varieties like biryani and burgers. Initially, fried chicken constituted 40% but as the brand starting expanding to tier-II and III towns, demand for fried chicken grew, adds Ajith. The demand for biryani has also pulled th share of burger down, he says.
The brand plans to offer more local products and add vegetarian dishes as part of its expansion plans.
Ajith, who worked with KFC earlier, plans to take the number of Marrybrown outlets to 100 in the next three years.
Admitting that the target was ambitious for a largely conservative company, Ajith said that even a brand like KFC took 12 years to enter the Chennai market. KFC started operations in Bengaluru way back in 1995.
He says that Marrybrown was waiting for the market to pick up and sort out supply chain, human resource and equipments issues before expanding to other regions.
Marrybrown has largely been a conservative brand and has a footprint of only 48 outlets so far.
“Southern market, especially Tamil Nadu, is a conservative market. We have succeeded here, and now on the backdrop of this learning we will expand to other markets in India,” said Ajith, who targets to double the turnover to Rs 70 crore in three years.
Speaking about investments, he said that around Rs 60-80 lakh will be needed to set up a standalone 1,500 sq ft outlet, while for a food court model (about 200 sq ft) the investment will be in the range of around Rs 40-50 lakh. The high cost was mainly due to the equipments, he added.
As far as the target audience goes, the brand is targeting the youth, planning to take the brand to schools and colleges by participating in the cultural, music festivals, carnivals and other activities.
The company spends around 3-4% of its revenue on the brand building.
Marrybrown, one of the major players in the franchising system, works on a 82% franchisee model. The brand is also betting big on e-commerce, which has been increasing for the last six months, says Ajith. At present, online platform contributes around 600-1,000 orders, he added.
Marrybrown India entered India after signing an exclusive franchisee agreement with Chennai-based MGM Group. The MGM Group has business interest in Logistics, Hospitality, International trading, Housing and Distillery and IMFS businesses.