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We are cutting down our expansion in Tier-II cities, says Anjan Chatterjee of Speciality Restaurants



Anjan Chatterjee, founder and managing director, Speciality Restaurants, spoke about the outlook of his business, expansion plans and capital expenditure, among others, during an interview with Swati Khandelwal of Zee Business.

The Durga Puja Season has been the strongest quarter for Speciality Restaurants till date. Update us on the performance and what is your business outlook?

The performance has been a good one. During this period, we grew 41% year on year only in the food and beverage segment in West Bengal. It has been a good and satisfying quarter for us .

Update us on the same store sales growth (SSSG) performance of different brands like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Hoppipola and Sigree among others?

SSSG has gone up in each of the brands, particularly in Mainland China and Mainland China Asia Kitchen, a flagship brand for us. This growth is backed by the new trend under which people have started eating outside and there is an increase in their numbers.

Tell us about your strategy to improve Ebitda in future?

I can’t provide any projections as we are bound by the Sebi rules and guidelines. But hope to perform better in every quarter, and this growth will be supported by the experience that we have earned in the last 25 years. This experience has allowed us to design a strategy under which we are balancing our metrics and lowering our expansion in Tier-II cities. We are focusing on metros as a place where we can grow and get good returns on our investments. In addition, we are a debt-free company, with almost Rs 70 crore in our books. This enables us to make advance payments to the suppliers, who, in return, provide cash discounts to us.

How many stores you will add under the expansion plan and which cities they will be launched?

We have plans to open 4-5 new restaurants of Mainland China and Mainland China Asia Kitchen. In addition, we have a different plan for the new wing, Hoppipola, that has been created to cater to the youngsters, who are below 25, and is based on the wet laid concept under which bar dispense will be projected so that drinking becomes an important part. In addition, we will be expanding a new brand, Episode, that has been conceptualised by my son Avik Chatterjee (26). It will be promoted on the same wet laid concept. This concept will help us in improving our revenue and the bottomline.

Let us know something about the capital expenditure lined up for H2FY19 and FY20 and are you well capitalised for it?

GST input that has been transferred has increased our capital expenditure by 18% in new restaurants and purchases, including rentals. We are renegotiating on rentals and suppliers and putting our points in front of them. In addition, we are also cutting down our inventory costs in the best possible manner.
Are you planning to acquire any small chain food restaurants?
Inorganic expansion is most welcome and will like to acquire formats with positive Ebitda.

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