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Kolkata to get 3 more TGI Fridays in 3 years


KOLKATA: Being bullish on the demand for high-end casual dining in the City of Joy, TGI Fridays (INDIA) is going to unveil two-three more restaurants by 2019-20 in Kolkata. Besides its only outlet in the city at Forum Mall in Bhowanipore, the Indian joint venture of the iconic US restaurant chain is looking at New Town, Salt Lake, E M Bypass and Park Street as the location for its new facilities.

Rohan Jetley, CEO, TGI Fridays (INDIA), told TOI, “Kolkata is an important market for us since the consumption is very high here. As our philosophy is to grow in a profitable way, we will look for a lot more scalable investment here.”

However, the high-end US casual dining major’s Indian JV with Bistro Hospitality (P) Ltd is not in a hurry to increase the number of outlets in the country. After making a presence felt in five major cities, TGIF is now on its way to open three-four outlets with Rs 20-25 crore investment per year across the country.

“It is the easiest thing to increase the number of restaurants in your kitty. We will do that whenever we get an internal nod with an assurance of a sustainable profitable growth. We make an investment of Rs 6 crore in each TGIF outlet, while a general Indian restaurant costs Rs 2-3 crore to build. In the next two-three years, we will be coming up with three to four outlets per year thereby making Rs 20-25 crore investment in India. And we will do it with internal accrual,” said Jetley. At present, TGI Fridays India has 18 own outlets, of which 14 are functional. It is growing at 10%-15% in revenue in the last three years.

According to Jetley, TGIF is a debt-free company with a zero third-party investment. “We don’t serve Indian food. Our USP is high-end and premium quality US casual dining platters,” he added. The restaurant chain employs a 45-50 people per outlet depending on the size.

Established in 1965 in New York City, TGI Fridays started off with their expansion in India from November 1996, bringing in the culture of casual dining. This is the only JV of the Dallas-based restaurant chain in the world. “Across the globe, TGI Fridays group operates via franchise model. We get training and cooking manual, recipe, marketing and operational dynamics directly from 2,000-restaurant-strong culinary chain with no compromise on taste and quality,” signed off Jetley.

Source: Times of India

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