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Dubai-based restaurant chain Doner & Gyros to make India debut

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NEW DELHI: Dubai-based quick service restaurant chain Doner & Gyros is all set to debut in India, offering sandwiches in Berlin and Chicago style.

The brand is entering in partnership with FranGlobal, the overseas arm of franchise solutions company Franchise India Holdings Ltd, and is looking to open 150-200 stores in India over the next five years.

Launched in 2014, Doner & Gyros currently has 22 outlets in UAE, Lebanon, the UK and Saudi Arabia. A total of Rs200 crore will be invested over the next five years for expansion in India.

“The brand is inspired from the street food of Chicago and Berlin; we will be offering hot and fresh products. We have already expanded to 21 locations in less than five years. By 2018, Doner & Gyros will be up and running at 30 locations,” said Nabi Naseeb, chief executive officer at Doner and Gyros, adding that the brand will be entering North America, Canada and Los Angeles, apart from India, in 2018.

Doner (meat wrapped in bread) is a popular street food of Berlin, going back to 1971; Chicago Gyro (originally Greek) is meat cooked on a vertical broiler and then put in baked bread, and was first served in the US in 1965.

However, for India, the company will be altering the flavours of the products, particularly sauces, to suit the local market. Both the companies (Doner & Gyros and FranGlobal) are still working on the price points of products for the Indian market.

“We will be adding more variety on vegetarian side of the menu. We are looking to open the first outlet in a food court, spread over 400 square feet. The plan is to open anywhere between 150 and 200 stores in the top 10-15 cities,” said Venus Barak, chief executive officer of FranGlobal.

The quick service restaurant industry in India is dominated by Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd-operated pizza chain Domino’s, followed by American burger chain McDonald’s and Yum! Brands-owned KFC, according to data from consulting firm Deloitte.

Doner and Gyros’s entry comes at a time when the quick service restaurant market is just beginning to bounce back in India, after the ripple effects of demonetisation, highway liquor ban and the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST). “There has been indication of slowing down of momentum of QSR (quick service restaurant) over the last few years. What differentiates us is that we are offering healthy and fresh products. There is a large gap in the Indian market and we plan to address that,” said Barak of FranGlobal.

Retail experts believe that the growth of the brand, to a large extent, will depend on its offerings and price. “QSR is on the growth trajectory. But the success of a brand depends on several factors such as whether the offerings suit the Indian palate, periodic new product launches, target audience and marketing strategies deployed as well as product price points,” said Aashish Kasad, partner and consumer products and retail sector tax leader at consulting firm EY India.

The food retail market in India was estimated at Rs3.1 trillion in 2016, the sixth largest in the world. Of this, QSR chains account for Rs9,130 crore, according to data from Deloitte.

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