How an Ice Cream Brand, Frozen Bottle, Primed for Expansion and Expanded Successfully

Launched in May 2017, Frozen Bottle is the brainchild of the three partners, namely, Pranshul Yadav, Arun Suvarna, and Srihari. Before the inception of Frozen Bottle, Pranshul ran his own ice-cream franchise, Cream Stone and turned it into the Number 1 ice cream brand of Bangalore.  At Frozen Bottle, Srihari and Arun take care of the real estate and business expansion department. It is a premium dessert destination that caters to all dessert palettes and aims at maintaining quality to the highest level. Currently, they are at 118+ plus outlets in 13 Indian cities. 

In Conversation With Srihari of Frozen Bottle

In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Srihari talks of his journey in the industry, the story behind his Frozen Bottle and how is it reacting to coronavirus pandemic, and a lot more.

About Frozen Bottle and How is it Reacting To Coronavirus Pandemic

Frozen Bottle is one of India’s most contemporary milkshake brands and strives to expand across the globe as the ultimate ‘dessert destination’. From lip-smacking ice-cream jars, ice-cream pizzas, milkshakes, and waffles, it serves all kinds of desserts.  

Srihari shares that it all started when they saw a gap in the market back in 2016 when the QSR model was still unorganized. Srihari along with his partners wanted to come up with a  casual-dine style QSR in the organized sector. They were successful in coming up with their premium brand, which is exponentially growing now. 

Talking about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the F&B industry has already been deeply affected, he adds. Some restaurants that were buzzing with patrons just last week now sit empty. Srihari shares that the pandemic has affected both their sales and footfall. Taking precautionary measures, patrons are not stepping out of their house and this is affecting business. Patrons have switched to delivery, but they are skeptical about the hygiene of the person delivering their order. In all, patrons are abstaining from ordering all together. At  Frozen Bottle, regular sanitization checks are taking place. Also, sanitizers are being used every 60mins to maintain hygiene and quality.

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Expansion Checklist

There’s no simple, uncomplicated way to know if you’re ready to open an additional restaurant location. Here are some factors which Srihari and his team keep in mind while expanding: 

  • Demographics of that Particular Market: Diving into the demographics of a particular market and spending some time in a potential new market to learn about the people in it is a must, mentions Srihari.  The first step would be to define the target audience. Target audiences are just a particular group of customers, often based on demographics such as income and age. Knowing your demographics is key to improving business as well as attracting and retaining customers.
  • Analyzing if Popular Brands have Sustained themselves in the Market: Another factor that Srihari mentions is that if popular brands like KFC, McDonald’s have survived in a particular market, it helps to study the market. Having an idea about these established restaurants will help in defining the target customers more clearly.
  • Price Sensitivity towards Desserts in that Market: While deciding dessert prices, there are a lot of factors to consider. It is necessary to have similar menu prices relative to your competitors. If you offer identical products of similar quality, but for a much higher price, it’s unlikely that your customers will want to return.

Franchisor Franchisee Relationship

Today, restaurant franchises continue to rank in the top ten of the most widespread franchise opportunities on the market, due to their revenue-generating potential. Although a restaurant franchise may seem like a “get rich quick” project to some, the truth is it takes a huge deal of hard work, time, and money to sustain and thrive. Currently, the Frozen Bottle has 74 franchisees.

Srihari mentions that they maintain a 60:40 ratio between franchisee owned and company-owned outlets. Undoubtedly, franchisee outlets give instant brand recognition. But with the proliferation of food delivery apps,  restaurant franchises are transforming how they do business. Delivery adds an additional cost component and can hurt profitability. At Frozen Bottle, they have managers for both company-owned outlets and franchises, who assist in regular quality checks to match the standards.

Also, Srihari mentions that they choose the seating layout, according to the demography of a particular market. For example, an outlet in Chennai would have seats in it for the convenience of the customers, because of the extreme heat. 

Top Strategic Learnings

  • Managing Supply Chain: The complexity of restaurant supply chain management can mask huge monetary losses. Tracking the entire supply chain from procurement to consumption is necessary for any restaurant business. It is essential to carefully manage relationships with vendors, distributors, and food suppliers to take advantage of financial incentives and to mitigate missed opportunities.
  • Product Differentiation: Srihari believes that it is fundamental to create novelty around your product. There should be a clear USP which differentiates you from other brands. It helps a brand to stand out from others and promotes your brand too,
  • Do Not Limit Yourself: Being a dessert brand, Srihari believes that a brand must not limit itself to a particular product, It is better to have a range of products for the customers to choose from
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