Impresario bets on café bar Social for robust growth

Impresario is planning to deploy about Rs.35 crore in the expansion of its Social outlets


Impresario currently operates 13 Social outlets and will be opening another outlet in Gurgaon on 9 September.
Impresario currently operates 13 Social outlets and will be opening another outlet in Gurgaon on 9 September.

New Delhi: Restaurant and bar chain company Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt. Ltd expects to touch Rs.350 crore in revenue by 2018—70% of which will come from its café bar Social.

Impresario, which closed the financial year 2015-16 at Rs.182 crore in revenue (50% of which came from Social), is planning to deploy about Rs.35 crore in the expansion of its Social outlets. By 2016-17, “the company will be operating over 20 Social outlets across the country,” said Riyaaz Amlani, chief executive officer and managing director, at Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality Pvt Ltd. which also owns Smoke House Deli and Mocha brands.

Impresario currently operates 13 Social outlets and will be opening another outlet in Gurgaon on 9 September. “Our biggest task is going to be expansion of Social now. The business is thriving right now,” said Amlani, adding that the company will be expanding Social and Smoke House Deli brands in the metros.

“For Mocha, we are focusing on the non-metros. We have just taken it to cities like Bhopal, Indore, Raipur, Lucknow and Bilaspur. We are planning to add six-seven stores this year,” said Amlani.

Mocha currently has 12 outlets in 10 cities. It will add an outlet in Lucknow by the end of September.

This expansion strategy comes after Impresario shut down Mocha outlets in all metros (except the one in Delhi) because of high rentals. “The coffee-shop model in metros is broken. The rentals are too high and it does not make sense for us to keep operating them when we can get a higher return from a café bar,” Amlani said.

All Mocha outlets are franchised, while Impresario owns all Social and Smoke House Deli outlets.

Rajat Wahi, partner and head (consumer markets) at consulting firm KPMG, attributed the success of Social to its affordability and ambience. “The good thing about Social is the reasonably-priced food and drinks. Bars often make the mistake of high pricing that reduces the number of outings. It is not so in Social,” he said.

Wahi explained that Social has also done a lot of innovation with the menu and the space. “It has focused on creativity. Maybe that’s why Social is a hit,” he added.

The food services market in India is projected to touch Rs.4.98 trillion by 2021 from Rs.3.09 trillion in 2016, growing at an annual average rate of 10%, according to a joint report by National Restaurants Association of India and consulting firm Technopak Advisors.

The Indian restaurant industry will contribute Rs.22,400 crore by way of taxes and create 5.8 million direct jobs in 2016, the report said.

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