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Rebel Foods partners local restaurants as it eyes overseas expansion

Jul 20, 2021

3 min read . Updated: 20 Jul 2021, 07:11 PM IST Suneera Tandon The company will add another 250-300 internet restaurants and double its presence in markets overseas including those in Southeast Asia, Middle East and even the United Kingdom Cloud kitchen operator Rebel Foods that sells restaurant meals online under brands such as Faasos, Behrouz Biryani, Mandarin Oak, The Good Bowl and others, is set to scale presence in international markets including Thailand, Philippines and Hong Kong in the ongoing quarter by partnering local restaurants and outsourcing its own food brand to them, said a senior executive at the company. The company will add another 250-300 internet restaurants and double its presence in markets overseas including those in Southeast Asia, Middle East and even the United Kingdom. It currently has 500 “internet restaurants" in 100 kitchens or locations in markets outside of India. Such locations typically operate multiple restaurant brands from under one roof. To be sure, Sequoia and Go-Ventures backed Rebel Foods entered international markets in 2019—starting with UAE and Indonesia. In 2019 it also set up a joint venture with Indonesian multi-service app operator Gojek to scale cloud kitchens in the market. In Indonesia, for instance, it has 40 kitchens operating over 300 internet restaurants including Oven Story and Faasos apart from developing local brands for the market. Since December 2020 it has added more international markets to its kitty scaling Faasos and Behrouz Biryani as well as adding a burger and Japanese cuisine brand after gauging demand for local cuisines in those markets. Most of the international expansion has come on the back of what is calls “brand as a service" offering where it offers existing restaurants its own brands, know-how, menu development and marketing to launch a cloud kitchen. “We entered Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and UK, in 2020. What we are doing is offering our brand as a service, which is similar to a SaaS—we have 50 partners. Our plan is to go much faster with this because the on-boarding is a simple plug and play model," said Ankush Grover, co-founder, Rebel Foods. The pandemic has driven up salience of ordering-in as demand for dine-in remains patchy. Intermittent waves of covid-19 infections have hurt restaurants, even as demand for home deliveries has remained robust. Meanwhile, for restaurants this has meant expanding their reach online. Future international expansion will largely be on the back of the brand as a service model since it is a "low capital model and is working very well for us," he added. Rebel offers its own bouquet of brands to existing restaurants that have the readily available kitchen and infrastructure to set them up. It offers support such as menu-development, back-end tech, brand-marketing and supply and supply exchange for a royalty fee. This means that Rebel Foods does not invest in building its own kitchens in these markets. This is a cap-ex light model said, Grover, where Rebel leverages the existing infrastructure of local restaurants. Restaurants are facing a lot of pressure, said Grover. “They see that partnering with Rebel with the tech support, and the power of the brand they can turn more profit from their existing premises," he said. In India, Rebel operates over 3,000 internet kitchens from more than 350 locations for its own brands as well as outsources its kitchen to other brands under the Rebel Launcher Program. Currently, it works with restaurant chains—both large and small—including Natural’s ice-cream, Mad Over Donuts, Wendy's, and Anand Sweets, among others. Subscribe to Mint Newsletters

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