The aim is to cater to a gap in the food delivery requirement of particular areas. The initiative, called ‘BrandWorks,’ offers a different menu, images, packaging and pricing from the restaurant's usual menu.
Run experimentally over five-odd months, Bengaluru-headquartered Swiggy now has 100 BrandWorks brands across 13 cities. It plans to triple the number by the end of the year.
“We approached these restaurants with consumer need gaps, knowing their (restaurants’) culinary capabilities. We said, let us co-create a brand in terms of menu, images, pricing, packaging. The brands are operated out of the partner's existing kitchens — so, its an asset-light, minimalistic, incremental expenditure for the partner to do more out of their existing kitchens, while consumer needs are getting met,” said Vishal Bhatia, chief executive of New Supply Business at Swiggy.
For instance, he said, delivery-friendly Chinese food continues to be a gap in Delhi. Swiggy has, accordingly, partnered with Delhi-based Chinese and Thai food chain Bercos to create a delivery-only brand, called House of Chow.
“It will be the same team and the existing kitchen (of Bercos). The packaging and some different products are the only extra cost for this brand. The portion sizes are also different — we have meals for one, individual meals and so on. We’ve also kept this as an independent brand, as we don’t want to cannibalise the Bercos brand,” said Kabir Advani, managing partner of Bercos Restaurant.
House of Chow is currently available at six Bercos outlets, and the restaurant plans to expand it to 15 by June.
Bhatia’s team is also the one that takes care of the Swiggy Access initiative, which was begun three years earlier. This involved taking on lease on a property, refurbishing into small, shared, kitchens and sub-letting to restaurant chains.
It had, it earlier said spent about ~250 crore for opening a little over 1,000 such ‘cloud kitchens’ on a million sq. ft of space.
Some restaurant owners are considering extending these brands into dine-in formats as well. Brands such as ‘Kitchens of Punjab’ and ‘Kitchens of China’, co-created with Bengaluru-based Gilly’s Restobar, are set to launch a physical dine-in location soon, while expanding through Swiggy Access kitchens.
“An incredibly innovative and effective idea," said Gurupreet Singh Bali, managing partner at Gilly’s Restobar. "Our kitchens at the dine-in restaurants are fully equipped and run by experienced chefs, trained in multiple cuisines. We realised growth could come out of negligible additional investment, leading to better utilisation of our existing resources through delivery. It is not just about the idea; Swiggy’s insights on consumer needs in the locality and expertise in brand creation has been crucial."