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Gaurav Burman picks up Taco Bell North franchise


The franchisee deal is for Taco Bell in North India, starting with New Delhi.

Yum! Restaurants India, the operator of close to 800 Pizza Hut and KFC stores in the country, has signed the first franchisee deal for Mexican-styled quick service restaurant Taco Bell in north India with Gaurav Burman, scion of the industrialist family that owns consumer goods maker Dabur.

Burman Hospitality picked up the franchisee rights for Taco Bell in the Delhi territory to start with and this will be scaled up across the north and possibly extended to more regions with other partners, Unnat Varma, general manager — Pizza Hut & Taco Bell at Yum! Restaurants India, told ET.

The first Taco Bell store set up by Burman Hospitality will debut midnext week at New Delhi’s Ambience Mall.

The Burmans, who have interests in diversified sectors including insurance, private equity, education and financial services, have floated a new entity called Burman Hospitality, which will invest in the space.

“We have a legacy in the consumer business. The quick service restaurant sector (QSR) has an obvious appeal and for a long time, we wanted to be involved with this sector,” Burman told ET. “The last two years have been a challenge with low growth rates and high inflation, but QSR remains an exciting longterm story.”

Taco Bell, which sells customised tacos and burritos, has six stores in Mumbai and Bengaluru, in which Yum! has invested directly. “We believe the next level of growth will come from franchisee partners…the scale-up will help in establishing the brand over the next decade,” Varma said.

The rollout plan involves setting up about 25 Taco Bell stores over the next 18-24 months, which will be a combination of outlets set up by Burman Hospitality and Yum!, Varma added.

The company, which originally intended a large footprint for Taco Bell in India — similar to KFC and Pizza Hut — went slow on the Mexican-inspired brand, with three restaurants each in Mumbai and Bengaluru since it started the brand in 2010. “Mexican food is a new category, involves setting up a differentiated supply chain and there are no taco manufacturers in India. So scaling up takes time,” Varma said. The investment in Taco Bell is being infused by Gaurav Burman along with his brother Mohit Burman and father VC Burman.

Source: Economic Times

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