Restaurant chain Lite Bite Foods is considering launching its initial public offer (IPO), reports the Press Trust of India (PTI). The company operates a chain of nearly 140 popular restaurants under the names of Punjab Grill, Zambar, Baker Street and Street Foods, among others.
“We are toying with the idea may be next year we will be big enough to think of an IPO. We have met different bankers about how we should go ahead. We would rather go in for IPO than private equity. We are having discussions but nothing is decided yet. May be next year,” said Lite Bite Foods Chairman Amit Burman who is also Vice Chairman of FMCG giant Dabur. The company is co-promoted by Burman’s friend and St. Columba’s School alumni Rohit Aggarwal.
Lite Bite Foods has won master concession rights for development of eateries in 5 tier-2 airports in India and plans to open 60 new outlets during the next financial year. Most of these restaurants will be opened at these airports. Burman added that capital requirements are currently met through internal accruals from promoter funds.
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“Travel by Indians is going up and we want to look at airport travel retail as a separate business vertical. We have had experience of running eateries at airports. We have bagged master concession for Indore, Ahmedabad, Coonoor, Calicut, and Bhubaneshwar airports. We are also looking at expanding the existing presence at the Jammu and Pune Airports,” said Burman. Currently, the company’s airport business consists of 58 outlets at Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Jammu and Goa airports.
Lite Bite Foods: Saving Intelligently
The company’s business model emphasizes on buying retail space in bulk and saving space in logistics. Its subsidiary Food Union buys retail space from mall developers and turns it into a food court. At most locations, Lite Bite Foods’ outlets share backrooms for activities like receiving and storing ingredients, cutting vegetables, and preparing sauces. As a result, rentals make just 8% of the company’s operating costs against the double-digit norm for the industry.
Lite Bite Foods’ current portfolio includes 12 owned brands and 7 managed brands such as KFC, Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut at airports. Apart from airports, the company has presence in prominent malls, high streets, multiplexes, office complexes, hotels and other high footfall locations including highways in India and overseas.