Rebel Foods, owns well-known brands such as Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, Oven Story, Mandarin Oak, The Good Bowl, SLAY and Sweet Truth among others. The foodtech giant had initially started out in the restaurant space in the year 2011 with Faasos across ~20 locations is today one of world’s largest internet restaurant company.
Constant evolutions of their business model kept them ahead of the curve and they now pioneer cloud kitchens at a humongous scale across the country and aborad.
The two popular brands from Rebel Foods, Faasos and Oven Story recently launched their respective brand campaigns. These campaigns aimed at informing consumers about the precautions they were taking while fulfilling their hunger needs. Shoumyan Biswas, Head of Strategic Alliances, Rebel Foods spoke exclusively to Medianews4u about these campaigns and shed light on their strategy going forward.
And incase you haven’t seen the brand campaign videos, watch them before you continue reading the story…
Tell us about Rebel Food’s journey from a restaurant space to now an internet first cloud kitchen brand?
Rebel Foods was built as a walk-in restaurant chain with a nationwide footprint for the most underrated food category, ‘Wraps & Rolls’. Around 2014 when food delivery was gaining ground, a brief consumer survey that was conducted, the team at Rebel Foods realized that about 70% of the business was through deliveries. The company then started shutting down restaurants, and leasing spaces at lower rents for kitchens that were closer to customers.
With the shift from a traditional fast food format to a cloud kitchen model, the rent-to-sales ratio dropped drastically over the next two years and took away the pain of finding great retail locations. It paved the way for rapid growth. The company then added more brands to drive customer love. These included well-known brands such as Behrouz Biryani, Oven Story pizzas, Sweet Truth, Mandarin Oak and Firangi Bake, to name a few. Today Rebel Foods is the world’s largest cloud kitchen restaurant company, with over 3000+ restaurants across India, Dubai, Indonesia and London.
How have the brands Faasos and Oven Story performed during the lockdown, and what is the vision for them in an era where hygiene and safety are of paramount importance?
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the restaurant businesses severely, we have witnessed an increase in demand for healthy food. Customers’ concerns have shifted since people are worried about what they are eating, and how this food gets to them, as well as who it is handled by, because of how this virus is spreading. Using QR codes, we have been providing customers with a live feed of the body temperatures of those handling their orders such as cook, kitchen executive and delivery person, the logs of which are also sent to the customers along with the invoices. Partnering with telemedicine experts, we conduct daily checks for all our team, making sure that we take care of them, while on the job. The initiative involves periodic video calls with doctors for staff handling Rebel’s kitchens.
What was the brief given to the respective agencies for these campaigns and share the media mix?
The brief given to the agencies was clear on how we at Rebel Foods want our consumers to know how we at Rebel Foods care about the safety of our consumers under this lockdown, with the food we deliver.
The Oven Story campaign was made with a prime focus on communicating how safe our pizzas are, across the country. The advertisement is focused on delivering our EAT.SURE promise, about how we at Rebel Foods concentrate on the safety of our consumers, staff and all of our delivery people, to make sure they all stay well while enjoying the best meals at the comfort of their homes.
The Faasos campaign is more focussed on how we have worked during this lockdown in giving our consumers a refresher from all the home cooking, ensuring the safety of the consumers from the ongoing pandemic. The media mix of the advertisements is divided into digital and television platforms and has been and will be airing on popular entertainment, infotainment, and sporting properties over the next few weeks.
While most brands these days are communicating about safety and hygiene, how do these campaigns cut the clutter of the brands in the market today?
Rebel Foods has always been focused on the safety of the food delivered to our consumers, even before the pandemic breakout. We introduced our EAT.SURE promise, which assures consumers of goodness across the brands. There are four crucial pillars of EAT.SURE – People, Process, Ingredients and Packaging.
Both these campaigns speak about our EAT.SURE promise of safety with full flavour, care and hygiene. The Faasos campaign tries to pull the consumers out of their monotonous lives due to the pandemic, while the second campaign communicates how Oven Story is doing its best to bring safe and quality food to its consumers.
How are you using strategic partnerships to boost Rebel Foods? Any exciting collaborations that are noteworthy?
At Rebel Foods, we are fortunate to work in very close conjunction with all our partners, ranging from Swiggy, to Zomato, to Dunzo, and more. Our mantra is that of collaboration over competition and it has yielded great results for us. Similarly, our partnerships with Swiggy, Zomato and other delivery partners helps ensure that our customers have access to us across platforms.
These partnerships aside, platforms like Google Pay and PhonePe also help us ensure that we can reach out to newer customers, and as important, that where the customer is, we are, our ultimate mantra.
Rebel foods in expanding both ways – horizontally and vertically… what is the vision behind this expansion strategy? Your thoughts?
More than a vision, I would say it is a philosophy that our co-founders and management espouse, that we at Rebel Foods follow very keenly. There is one core thought process, that of EAT.SURE, under the umbrella of which, we embark on each of our initiatives. Therefore, if we have expanded in London even during the lockdown, widening our international footprint, we have done so with confidence, because we knew that we would be able to provide to our global customer base the promise of safety in People, Process, Ingredients and Packaging.
The idea is to not go overboard, to remain cautiously optimistic, to put our customers and our people at the heart of everything that we do, and to remain true to Rebel Foods’ core ethos, values, principles and philosophy.
Rather than competing head-on and trying to crack the right pricing, Rebel is going for a market penetration approach. Other players can either offer premium quality or discounts, but we are able to cover both bases, while reducing cash burn. In order to do this, Rebel Foods has adopted a category view. Here, the company divide its brands into two — a power brand and an active brand. The idea is simple— keeps a power brand to be the premium player and an active brand to ensure that every Rebel lover, irrespective of monies is able to afford us.
Any marketing plans for the upcoming and most awaited Indian festive season?
Every festive season we launch a slew of offerings such as a Shravan Special from LunchBox, and Eid Special Behrouz Biryani Combos. These go on till even Valentine’s Day in the New Year, when for example, Sweet Truth introduces Cupid Boxes which offer a cheesecake, red velvet pastry combo.
Our mission is to create unique, memorable and delightful experiences for all occasions. This time too, we have several such offers upcoming, to drive away the gloom of COVID-19.
Your thoughts on why digital brands have done well this season?
Digital brands have been doing extremely well this season, because of the environ, but honestly, I would not call that a win for us, simply because we have been a digital first brand from the time that foodtech was seen as a bad investment. We stuck to our guns then as well. We are on a constant endeavour to ensure safety and well being for everyone out there, our customers or not. We have been fortunate enough to work with institutions and NGOs and run GiveSure, our way of helping the community distributing over 100,000 meals across 4 cities to the ones who need good food and care. We are also thankful to our consumers for trusting our brands through these tough times.