In an interview with Restaurant India, Saurabh Khanijo speaks about the growing demand of Chinese food in India and how the food that they serve is different from other restaurants.
What is the reason behind adopting the step down formats under the Kylin Express brand?
We wanted to go into the quick service model because everybody was doing it and pizzas, burgers and other Indian foods are a big hit. So, we thought lets come up with the Chinese quick service restaurant. This was basically to cover more and more clientele.
What is the profit margin of the step down format as compared to the traditional format?
The profit margin is quite nice as compared to the main brand because the return is high. The profit margin is approximately 10-15 percent more than that of the Kylin Premier. The main reason is that the quick service restaurants can be done anywhere with an investment of Rs 25-35 lakhs as compared to the fine dine or the main brand which requires a minimum of Rs 1- 2 crore of investment.
What all marketing strategies have you adopted for Kylin?
We have used social media extensively and also distribute leaflets and pamphlets in the localities near to our restaurant location to give it more visibility.
What is the total investment incorporated for Kylin Express?
We invested around Rs 25-35 lakh for the express models and Rs 1-2 crore for the premier formats.
What kind of location is most suitable for setting up a restaurant?
For express model, malls are better option and for dine in high-street brings more customer.
These days we see that people have developed an appetite for Chinese food and it is the second most preferred food in India. What do you think has brought this shift?
This is the only food that you can’t cook at home and that’s why Chinese is a hit today in the market. Indian foods are very spicy as compared to the Chinese food thus people who want less oil, less fat food rush to Chinese food.
Kylin Premier is known for serving authentic Chinese food, what all strategies you apply to make your food better than your competitor?
It is Pan-Asian restaurant. We serve a different taste of the Chinese cuisine, if everybody is serving chilly chicken, manchurian we don’t have all this in our menu. Our menu is a little cut above, the taste is different and the flavour is different. For example, people use lots of corn flour to make thick gravy but we don’t use any corn flour, any salt in our dishes because Chinese food is all about sauces so we use soya to bring the authentic taste of the cuisine.
What is the sourcing challenge of the products? Who all are the suppliers?
We don’t face any sourcing challenge. We get the supply on a regular basis. We have fix vendors on contracts. For example for grocery, we have a monthly contract, for vegetables and butchery we have a yearly contract.
Some of our suppliers are, Vinod Vegetables from R K Puram for vegetables and fruits, MD. Furqan for butchery from Ghazipur.
What is your plan on expansion of Kylin?
We will be focusing on our Kylin Express model in different cities in the country. We will be doing about ten outlets of Kylin Express this year and two-three for Kylin Premier Restaurant. For the main format we are going to Chandigarh, Mumbai and Kolkata, however for express format we are moving to Ludhiana and Jalandhar.