Rebel Foods Aims 100 Food Courts In Big Offline Push
Rebel Foods launched its maiden flagship store in Pune on Wednesday.
Cloud kitchen operator Rebel Foods Pvt. is looking to set up 100 outlets in two years as the company revisits its offline retail plans in a bid to turn profitable this year.
These outlets will be in a food court format called EatSure, but not resemble traditional restaurant businesses. "They will be smart and unconventional, a first-of-its-kind in India," Rebel Foods co-founder Sagar Kochhar told BQ Prime.
The food court, like its app, will allow customers to place orders through kiosks or by scanning QR codes on the table. One can order from multiple brands in a single time, according to Kochhar.
Once prepared, the order will be notified to customers through the digital screens in store or through a WhatsApp message. Customers can then either choose to dine-in or takeaway, he said.
The food court will house all of Rebel Foods' own as well as partner brands, including Behrouz Biryani, Oven Story Pizza, Faasos, Mad Over Donut, Cafe Goodluck, Wendy’s, Thambbi, Lunchbox, Marrakesh, SLAY Coffee, Smoor Chocolates, Zomoz, Firangi Bake and others.
"One can order a plate of biryani from Behrouz, a side from Faasos to a pizza from Oven Story, dessert from Smoor Chocolates and a beverage from Slay Coffee all together in one order without any additional wait or queue," Kochhar said.
He added that unlike the traditional food courts, the company is trying to solve a "broken experience" where customers don't have to order each food category separately from different brands. It is bringing in a queue-less completely-digital ordering experience, easy to track the status of the orders and enjoy together in a group.
"We started our pilot last year and the initial response has been very good, so we are rolling it out nationally," Kochhar said.
Rebel Foods has launched its maiden flagship outlet, spread across 3,000 square feet, in Law College Road, Erandwane in Pune on Wednesday.
"We plan to open about 100 outlets in two years across high-footfall areas like highways, airports and office locations," he said. "We will scale up this format outside India as well depending on consumer response."
The coronavirus pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on consumer habits, changing the way one shops, buys and consumes. If only one sector that has skyrocketed in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic, that is the virtual restaurant sector, driven by the demand for at-home dining and deliveries. But the boost was short-lived. As people start eating out again, the restaurant industry is now shifting towards an omnichannel approach.
"We moved away from offline to focus on cloud kitchen business as it didn't solve any specific problem. But now with the power of technology, we are back offline as omnichannel is the way forward," Kochhar said.
At the heart of this initiative is Rebel Foods' full-stack technology—Rebel OS—through which it helps multiple brands to launch and scale-up.
Through the Rebel Launcher, powered by Rebel OS, the company has launched over 25 brands. Besides its offline format, the EatSure app is creating a similar experience virtually.
Kochhar said that the app has already seen five million downloads across 75 cities.
Currently, the company operates more than 4,000 internet restaurants. With a portfolio of 45 odd brands under its umbrella, including partner brands, it serves 10 countries, including India, Indonesia, the UAE, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Bangladesh. Rebel Foods also has 450-odd kitchens across geographies.
Kochhar said the plan is to break even by the end of this calendar year as Rebel Foods prepares to list on the bourses in 2024.
Rebel Foods started out as a single-brand QSR chain Faasos before moving to the cloud kitchen format in 2014. It also sells on Zomato and Swiggy, besides its own distribution channel.
The Sequoia Capital-backed firm entered the unicorn club with a $175 million round led by the Qatar Investment Authority in November 2021.
In the 2021-22 financial year, Rebel Foods' revenue jumped 2.1 times to Rs 859 crore. Its losses spiked 54.9% to Rs 564 crore from Rs 364 crore in the 2020-21 fiscal, according to its financial statements with the Registrar of Companies.