An Indian multiplex chain is turning empty theatres into cloud kitchens for home delivery via Zomato⁠⁠— taking on Domino’s and McDonald’s

BCCL
  • The idea is to invest about ₹15 crore and use cinema halls which have been lying empty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Carnival Groups have partnered with food aggregator Zomato to deliver food as of now, however, Carnival Cinemas will soon come up with their own delivery service in a year or so.
  • Moreover, the group is aiming to register gross sales worth ₹500 crore with this new operation.
Carnival Group, which runs India’s third largest multiplex chain by screen count, is set to deliver food through a hundred cloud kitchens in multiple cities including Mumbai, Kerala, Bengaluru, Jodhpur, Varanasi etc. The idea is to invest about ₹15 crores and use cinema halls which have been lying empty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carnival Groups have partnered with food aggregator Zomato to deliver food as of now, however, Carnival Cinemas will soon come up with their own delivery service in a year or so. This will pit Carnival in direct competition with the likes of Jubilant Foodworks, which operates the Domino's pizza outlets, and Westlife Development, the franchisee for McDonald’s in West and South India.

The group’s cinema business, with 470 screens across 120 cities in India, fell at least 40-50% between January to March 2020 as compared to last year. This was before the lockdown could take its full toll on the business.

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Hence, the pivot to cloud kitchens. “Food is and always will be a huge industry. We understand the current scenario of COVID-19 pandemic is not very favorable for many existing restaurants and hotels. There is a huge potential in the cloud kitchen segment and that too when we have a strong network of around 150 plus theatres in over 120 cities across India so we don’t need to invest in the biggest expense traditional restaurants deal with: real estate costs, Dr Shrikant Bhasi, Founder and Chairman said.

The group has already started operations at nine locations in five states including Huma Kanjur Marg in Mumbai, Green Field and Kariyad in Kerala, Bengaluru and Belgaum in Karnataka, Nasrani Jodhpur, Galaxy Jaipur in Rajasthan, Allahabad and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Eight more outlets are set to open in Mumbai and Pune in the next three months

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The group is aiming to register gross annual sales worth ₹500 crore with this new operation. “One of the major points of the cinema location is that they are at prime locations in the city in all tier-I, tier-II, tier-III cities. By doing this, we will definitely be able to increase the F&B revenue of the group,” Sony Ravindranath Carnival Group’s Director & CEO (F&B) said in an interview with Business Insider India.

“Just like Dominos and Pizza Hut, we also plan on opening our own delivery platform and then we will be able to send the product at a much cheaper price,” he added.

Ravindranath says once Carnival Group’s cloud kitchens settle in India, they will also start opening other units overseas — Dubai, Singapore, Australia and the US.

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