Saturday, May 18, 2024

Taco Bell partner eyes 600 outlets by 2030

Burman Hospitality Pvt. Ltd is on track to expand the Taco Bell restaurant chain beyond the metro cities, and set up 470 new outlets in India over the next seven years to take the total store count to 600 from the existing 130 outlets by 2030, despite inflationary pressures slowing demand.

On Monday, the American restaurant chain signed cricketer Hardik Pandya as the first brand ambassador for India.

“We are keeping our foot on the pedal. We have a lot of help from Yum!, and put together a great management team. We have also hired a new marketing agency. We’ll keep investing, we’re hoping to get close to 200 stores by March 2024. Our goal remains 600 stores,” said Gaurav Burman, director, Burman Hospitality, in an interview.

According to Burman, the firm is expanding its footprint aggressively. “When we last met we were adding a store every 80 hours. We have been pretty much maintaining that. We are moving into new towns and regions.”

To be sure, Taco Bell Corp., is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. In 2019, Burman Hospitality got the master franchisee rights for India.

“We are going to tier-III towns, the latest project we signed up was in Jalandhar. We will continue to go to small towns where consumers have few options , and people really like our food.” he said.

Burman, however, said that the inflationary environment was squeezing household budgets and delaying discretionary spends. “The only headwind currently is—like many other QSR brands—we’re seeing a tail off in consumer discretionary spends and I think that is a result of inflation.”

However, the inflationary headwinds are temporary and the company “will keep investing” in India, he said. Demand could pick up in April as a fresh season of the Indian Premier League prompts consumers to order in. “We have great communication, and a great brand ambassador. Usually, IPL leads to a pickup in sales for us. We certainly expect April to be far better than March,” he added.

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