Barcelos eyes quicker expansion in India

South African casual dining restaurant brand Barcelos is looking to introduce a new concept of smaller format restaurants targeted at consumers in food courts, as it is eyes quicker expansion in India. The company, which is in the process of revamping its menu, aims to have 40-50 stores operational by 2020 under its flagship brand.

Rohit Malhotra, Business Head, Barcelos India, said, “We are working on a concept of smaller format stores that will mainly be targeted at food courts and will be under a different brand called Barcelos Express. This will enable us to enter the quick service restaurant segment. We expect to open the first restaurant under Barcelos Express sometime next year.”

The restaurant chain has had to undertake a major shift in strategy, since its foray in the Indian market in 2015. “Due to various factors, our experience of opening restaurants in high streets has not been very good. Hence, we have decided that we will now only open our restaurants in malls,” Malhotra explained.

The company currently operates four restaurants in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Jaipur. It had to shut down three restaurants in high street areas in Delhi and Gurgaon.

However, with a new strategy in place the company aims to go full steam ahead. By June 2018, the company expects to have about 10-11 restaurants operational in cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru under brand Barcelos.

“Our long-term goal is to have 40-50 restaurants operational by 2020 under Barcelos. As far as our brand, Barcelos Express is concerned, we will open our first store next year and then we could look at adding 8-10 outlets every year,” Malhotra added.

The company is working on a revamped menu which it hopes to unveil by November. “We aim to introduce a new menu which will have a wide variety of product offerings, while keeping in mind the Indian consumers’ taste buds. We plan to significantly increase the number of vegetarian products on our menu,” Malhotra added.