We grew 41% only in the food and beverage segment in Bengal: Anjan Chatterjee; Speciality Restaurants
Anjan Chatterjee, Founder and Managing Director, Speciality Restaurants Ltd, spoke about the business outlook of his business, expansion plans and CapEx among others, during an interview with Swati Khandelwal, Executive Editor, Zee Business. Edited excerpts:
The Durga Puja Season has been the strongest quarter for Speciality Restaurants till date. Update us on the kind of performance and what is your business outlook?
It, the performance, has been a good one. Durga Puja and Ganpati mark the start of the festive season in India and Bengali's are very passionate about food as they live to eat. During this period, we grew 41% year-on-year (YoY) only in the food and beverage segment in Bengal. It has been a good and satisfying quarter for us and we are looking forward to this quarter being bullish and happy.
Update us on the Same Store Sales Growth (SSSG) performance of different brands like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Hoppipola and Sigree among others?
Same-Store Sales Growth (SSSG) has gone up in each of the brands particularly in Mainland China, Mainland China Asia Kitchen (a flagship brand for us). This growth is backed by the new trend under which people have started eating outside and there is an increase in the number of such people.
Tell us about the mechanism that will be adopted to improve your EBITDA in future?
I can't provide any projections as we are bound by the SEBI rules and guidelines. But hope to perform better in every quarter and this growth will be supported by the experience that we have earned in 25 years. This experience has allowed us to design a strategy under which we are balancing our metrics and lowering our expansion in tier-II cities. We are focusing on metros a place where we can grow and get good returns on our investments. In addition, we are a debt-free company, with almost Rs70 crore in our books, who is not supposed to pay interest cost. This situation enables us to make advance payments to the suppliers, who in return provide cash discounts to us.
Provide a number of stores that will be added under the expansion plan and the cities where they will be launched?
We have plans to open 4-5 new restaurants of Mainland China and Mainland China Asia Kitchen. In addition, we have a different plan for the new wing, Hoppipola, that has been created to cater to the youngsters, who are below 25, and is based on the wet laid concept under which bar dispense will be projected so that drinking becomes an important part. In addition, we will be expanding a new brand, Episode, that has been conceptualised by my son Avik Chatterjee (26) will be promoted on the same wet laid concept. This concept will help us in improving our revenue and the bottom line.
Let us know something about the CapEx that has been lined up for H2FY19 and FY20 and are you well capitalised for it?
GST input that has been transferred has increased our CapEx by 18% in new restaurants and purchases including rentals. We are renegotiating on rentals and suppliers and putting our points in front of them. In addition, we are also cutting down our inventory cost in the best possible manner.
Are you planning to acquire any small chain food restaurants, if yes, name the region where this merger and acquisition (M&A) can take place?
Inorganic expansion is most welcome and will like to acquire formats with positive EBITDA as we are not interested in taking liabilities of others, which can hamper our balance sheet.
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