With key markets being Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, and Goa, the company envisages a domestic and international expansion of the Project Series, the refurbished brand from PizzaExpress.
"We thought of revamping PizzaExpress in India with the launch of the "Project series" by PizzaExpress in July 2017. The main aim was to strengthen the strong foundation laid by success across Mumbai and Delhi NCR by widening the vision from a single brand multi-unit operation to a multi-brand multi-unit operation. After the successful launch of The Bandra Project and then The Runway Project by PizzaExpress in Mumbai, The Runway Project in Delhi's Select Citywalk will take forward its signature hyperlocal experience, highlighted with a couture-inspired flavor. The idea is to curate an immersive design and fashion-centric experience that mirrors the ethos of not just its location but also the community it is created for," the company said in an email interaction with ANI.
Gourmet Investments have successfully opened nine restaurants, up until July last year. Taking this expansion forward, the London-based pizza joint aims to capture a significant share in the Indian market, with the launch of its next outlet in India's Silicon Valley, before getting on to the international markets.
"The top five locations on our list are Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, and Goa. Real estate value and the kind of diversity these cities have match exactly our target audience and the kind of cuisines we intend to offer. Our next big plan is to open PizzaExpress in Bengaluru. We are also planning to go abroad in the coming years," the company said.
Much like Mumbai outlet, the company says, the Delhi outlet will also focus on pizzas, salads, and desserts, with a keen inclination to fresh produce, local ingredients, and global inspirations.
In terms of the ambience, The Runway Project aims at creating "a chic yet understated ambiance" for the tastemakers of the city. The interiors of the space, designed by Ayaz Basrai of the Busride Studio, pays twisted homage to the fashion industry, using Rorschach blots as an inspiration for the custom concrete walls, mixing it up with digital projections that animate the patterns in an ever-changing Kaleidoscopic treatment, where one can spot ephemeral patterns and forms.
"Each venue differs in design since its design is inspired by its locality. The Bandra Project is artier while The Runway Project is more glamorous both in Mumbai and New Delhi. The menu by Vicky Ratnani, who is the corporate chef and culinary director, comprises pizzas, small plates, salads, mains, and desserts, and is the same for Mumbai and New Delhi with a focus on fresh produce, local ingredients, and global inspirations," the company noted.
A well-know name world over, PizzaExpress was established in 1965 in London, and operates over 550 restaurants across 14 countries. The brand was launched in India in 2012 in partnership with Gourmet Investments Ltd, a company promoted by the Bharti Family Office.
Talking about their association with the Ministry of Crab, a product of Sri Lankan cricketing duo Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Chef Dharshan Munidasa, the company announced that it bagged the exclusive rights for the brand's restaurants all over India for a period of 10 years to begin with, extendable by an additional period of 5 years after the opening of the second outlet in India.
"We have announced an agreement to bring the iconic Sri Lankan seafood restaurant "Ministry Of Crab" to India. It has been on the coveted and prestigious "Asia's 50 Best Restaurants" list every year since 2015. We want to be the benchmark name in developing a multi-brand platform that is focused on targeting the best in the breed (segment). We are hoping to target Japanese, Chinese, and others as segments when growing our portfolio of brands - internationally sourced and solutions for India or internationally inspired but homegrown," the company said.
On a related note, the first outlet of the Ministry of Crab is slated to open in Mumbai, tentatively in May/June 2018. (ANI)