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Rebel Foods Pvt. Ltd, which manages a network of cloud kitchen brands such as Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, Mandarin Oak and The Good Bowl, is set to expand its footprint in international markets such as Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines, with its own brands and through partnerships with local restaurants, said Ankush Grover, co-founder, Rebel Foods.

The company, which operates 500 internet restaurants outside India, is planning to add 250-300 locations across Southeast Asia, West Asia and the UK. Rebel Foods operates multiple restaurant brands from under one roof.

The Sequoia- and Go-Ventures-backed firm had forayed into overseas markets in 2019, with the launch of its services in the UAE and Indonesia. It had set up a joint venture with Indonesian multi-service app operator Gojek to launch 40 cloud kitchens in Indonesia, which run over 300 internet restaurant brands, including Oven Story and Faasos.

Since December, it has been on an expansion spree, adding locations across international markets, with gourmet brands Faasos and Behrouz Biryani, besides floating a burger and Japanese cuisine brand to service the demand for local cuisines in the markets.

Its international expansion has been based on the brand-as-a-service model, wherein it offers its existing brands, the know-how, dish selection and design of a menu, besides marketing to local restaurants.

“In 2020, we entered Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the UK. We offer brand as a service, which is similar to SaaS (software as a service). We have 50 partners. We plan to go much faster because the on-boarding is a simple plug-and-play model," Grover said.

Growth in online orders for food delivery has come on the back of muted demand for dine-ins amid the intermittent waves of covid-19 infections.

“Therefore, future international expansion will largely be on the back of the brand-as-a- service model since it is a low capital model and is working very well for us," he added.

Rebel Foods offers its own bouquet of brands to restaurants having the infrastructure to set up a kitchen. It offers backend tech and brand-marketing activities for a royalty fee. This model is capex light as it does not have to invest in building its own kitchens.

“Restaurants are facing a lot of pressure. They see that partnering with Rebel Foods with its tech support, and the power of the brand, they can turn in more profits from their existing premises," Grover added.

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