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Impresario to raise $50 million to ramp up restaurant business



Mumbai-based Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt., which owns and runs a bouquet of fine-dining restaurant, cafe and lounge brands such as Social, Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Café, Mocha and Flea Bazar Cafe, is raising a fresh investment of $50 million to fuel its market expansion activities.

In December 2017, the restaurant chain, promoted by celeb restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, had raised $45 million from LCatterton Asia, the regional franchise of Connecticut-based global private equity firm LCatterton, with over $15 billion of capital under six funds.

Expansion plans

“This time again, the funds are going to come from the same PE firm. We will use this money to expand all our existing brands and also to foray into new formats,” said Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario.

Impresario currently has 23 outlets of Social, its all-day café and collaborative workspace format. “We are witnessing great traction around Social and, therefore, we are scaling up this model. We will have 150 outlets of Social across the country by 2024,” he said.

The food company recently launched Ishaara, an exclusive brand of restaurants manned by the speech and hearing impaired. The first store has come up in Mumbai, while more Ishaara outlets are on the cards.

A team of 28 people is required for each Ishaara outlet. “Speech and hearing impaired people are very special in many ways. They are more attentive, focussed and come with a natural smile, a critical prerequisite for hospitality,” Mr. Amlani added. Other Impresario brands that are going for expansion include: Smoke House Deli, Salt Water Café, Mocha, Slink & Bardot, Flea Bazar Cafe and Prithvi Cafe.

According to Mr. Amlani, Impresario is looking at opening 35 outlets of Flea Bazar Cafes. Bengaluru alone will have four of them. These are curated food courts that serve local, authentic cuisine such as Naga, Chettinadu, Andhra or Mangalore. Impresario is currently in the process of creating a bunch of home delivery brands to compete with existing players such as Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats, Foodpanda, FreshMenu, JustEat, Faaso’s etc.

“There’s also something called the late-entry advantage. If our customers are reaching us at our outlets, we should also reach them in their homes. We are planning exclusive home delivery brands for South Indian, North Indian, Chinese, European and ethnic-food specialities,” Mr. Amlani added.

Impresario has a revenue mandate of ₹1,000 crore by 2024. It posted a revenue of ₹350 crore during fiscal ended March 2019.

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