Biryani was the most ordered dish during the lockdown on food aggregation platforms. Zomato has claimed to have delivered over 44 lakh biryani orders since lockdown. It even rated biryani as the most-ordered dish in 2019. For the third year in a row.

Apart from satiating the diner’s appetite, Biryani performs well on most business parameters. It is popular for home deliveries as well as dine-in orders. The dish also ranks high across all order categories. It does equally well – sold per plate or in kilograms. It is highly adopted across geographies with several regional versions available.

Business dynamics:

Biryani, for a long time, remained confined to local kitchens and standalone restaurants. Biryani is now making a comeback – from roadside Dhabas to swanky QSR chains. In the last few years, several organized cloud kitchens have entered the Biryani market.

Among the prominent ones, Behrouz Biryani, Biryani by Kilo, Charcoal Biryani, and Biryani Blues have scaled well. Of these, Behrouz Biryani is the most successful brand with 300+ outlets and annual revenues of Rs 200 crore.

Now India’s most successful QSR chain Jubilant FoodWorks has now forayed into the biryani market with the launch of its brand ‘Ekdum!’. It will help Jubilant to expand its portfolio in the food services business. Currently, its pizza category under Domino’s is its most successful offering. But, the biryani vertical has the potential to beat that performance. It will help Jubilant address a market segment that its pizza brand couldn’t access.

Consider this,

  • Biryani sells well across lunch and dinner, while Pizza is skewed towards dinner timings.
  • Biryani is a favourite across age-groups and regions while Pizza is skewed towards the young population.
  • Biryani is currently skewed towards non-vegetarians. But, this shortcoming can easily be overcome by offering the vegetarian version of the dish.

Ekdum! is starting with three restaurants in Gurgaon. It will be operational for delivery, takeaway, and dine-in. Its menu will include kebabs, curries, bread, bowl meals, desserts, and beverages.

The company is expecting to expand its operations gradually. The current market size of organized players in the Biryani market is being estimated at Rs 3,000 crore. And, Ekdum!’s entry should expand the Biryani market in favor of organized players.

India’s QSR story

The QSR service market in India has shown consistent growth since Fiscal 2014. The data from Burger King’s DRHP estimated the market size for QSR chains at Rs 4,09,600 crore in Fiscal 2019. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% over the next five years. At that rate, the market is expected to reach Rs 6,75,300 crore by Fiscal 2024.

Despite the growing market, the QSR market has seen its fair share of failures as well. Jubilant’s Domino’s brand has by far been the most successful company in India’s QSR market. Pizza Hut, on the other hand, has fallen flat. While McDonald’s and KFC are performing relatively well, Taco Bell and Subway have failed to make a mark.

Closing comment

India’s QSR market has shown a pattern over the years. The brands that have adapted to Indian tastes have succeeded and thrived. The rest have failed to survive.

Jubilant has done well in this regard. It introduced Indian cuisine-inspired versions of its pizzas at the very beginning. The introduction of Biryani will further add to the ‘Indianness’ to its offerings. And, given the strong track record of the company, Ekdum! should be able to deliver a strong performance at par with the company’s pizza business.