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Barcelos intensifies South African cock-fight (Foodie Trail-Chennai)

IANS  |  Chennai 

Barcelos is a new South African flame-grilled chicken that opened its outlet here recently -- at a time when a competing brand has also stepped in, and another downed its shutters. It is also a time when many eateries are experiencing a sharp drop in footfalls as orders through delivery firms like Swiggy, Eats and others are on the rise.

"There are two kinds of chicken outlets -- price-focused and experience-focused. While the popular fried chicken brands are price-focused, we are focused on providing an experience to our guests," Rohit Malhotra, Business Head-India, Barcelos, told IANS, offering a tangy mango drink.

It might have looked like any other mango drink. But sip it, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the taste.

The 65-seater Barcelos outlet at the has been designed well.

The recipe for success is to have a wide variety of dishes catering to different taste buds rather than offering just the chicken-based items, said Malhotra, who proudly shared the thick menu card running into several pages.

"Our menu has Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese and American dishes. The menu should have the several dishes, including vegetarian ones, for a family or group to choose from instead of restricting their choice to just peri-peri and other chicken dishes," he said.

True to this, the menu has wide variety of dishes to choose from for adults as well as children -- lots of pastas and burgers. However, the chicken footprint is hard to miss.

Even as Malhotra was explaining Barcelos' strategy, it was time to bite into a classic Italian bruschetta. It was okay.

"Our focus is on the mall segment and to avoid high-street outlets as there is no control over the number of competing players. Further, mall outlets get footfalls as a good number of shoppers do not mind sitting for some time to have a bite," Malhotra said.

By this time, the soft and mildly spicy and tasty peri-peri grilled chicken wings had been polished off while a plate full of fried shrimps and a second round of the tangy mango drink arrived.

Queried about the threat posed by companies, Malhotra said Barcelos has not signed up with any.

A hotelier had told IANS that the advent of companies have increased the number of orders but have eaten into the dine-in business. According to him, the size of the outlets is being reduced to cut rental expenses.

The crispy shrimps were good -- and when taken with the mango mocktail, it was great.

It was time for the main course -- flame-grilled peri-peri chicken and Portuguese rice. For those who are accustomed to a spicy meal, it is suggested to first dig into the peri-peri chicken and follow this up with the rice. One can add a dash of peri-peri sauce to further spice up the soft chicken.

On the expansion front, Malhotra said the company bets on the franchise model. "We are also planning to come out with our outlets for food courts," Malhotra said.

According to him, Barcelos is hoping to open 20-25 outlets each year after 2019.

FAQs:

What: Barcelos

Where: Express Avenue, Royapettah

When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cost for two: About Rs.1,500 plus taxes

(Venkatachari Jagannathan's visit was at the invitation of Barcelos. He can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

--IANS

vj/vm

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 14 2018. 11:18 IST
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