Ceres Hospitality - One of the Fastest Growing Virtual Restaurant Operators in Mumbai

Ceres is a self-funded business. Both the founders are highly qualified professionals with experience of working for top MNCs and also operating businesses.

Ceres Hospitality Pvt Ltd (Ceres) is a tech enabled food services company that owns and operates 12 virtual restaurants across Mumbai under the brands Pan Of Asia – Serving authentic oriental fare, Kadhai House – classic north Indian and Mughlai food and Pao & Bao serving delicious anytime fusion eats. Ceres has grown exponentially starting from one Pan of Asia in Jan 2016 to 12 Virtual Restaurants currently, spanning three different cuisines in less than a year. The company has grown 24x in terms of revenue from Jan 2016 to Dec 2016. It has served over 6000 customers across three brands Pan of Asia, Kadhai House and Pao & Bao in Dec 2016 alone.

Ceres will be adding 12 more Virtual Restaurants in Mumbai in the next six months along with launching the 4th brand in its portfolio. The Company plans to begin operations in Pune towards mid 2017 and is looking to launch with 12 Virtual Restaurants in Pune.

This will take to a total of 36 restaurants across Mumbai and Pune by August 2017.

In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Ceres Hospitality’s team shared details about their business.

What is the company’s USP?

The motto at Ceres Hospitality is to provide high-end restaurant quality food at a pocket friendly price point to the customer. Since we are a delivery only virtual restaurant, our menu and packaging is designed keeping in the mind the time taken from preparing the food to reaching the customer’s plate.

We keep our operating and capital costs low by using the same kitchen space for all our brands thereby significantly saving real estate and electricity costs. We use specialized cooking teams for all our brands while using the common infrastructure and operation teams. We have a robust IT backbone and logistics system which helps us track and move our inventory and sales on a real time basis across all our restaurants.

This unique business model allows us to pass on significant cost benefit to the customer without compromising on the food quality, taste, hygiene or ingredients. We use top quality imported and local ingredients across all our brands. We at Ceres are firm believers that awesome food at home does not have to cost the moon and a customer should not pay for the ambience, décor and overheads of a sit down restaurant when they are not actually eating there but ordering in.

How do you provide customer satisfaction?

Our high number of repeat customers and growth in the number of new customers is testimony to the high level of customer satisfaction at all our Restaurants. Our offering of pocket friendly pricing, multiple cuisine options, all freshly prepared in our state of the art kitchens across the city by a trained team of chefs all which are easy to order through our website/app or call centre has proved to be a hit across all age groups and income brackets.

We have a robust IT backbone that collects customer data and helps us in getting feedback and tracking individual customers preferences. We use multiple touch points to connect with our customers including Zomato, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter wherein any and all feedback is duly noted and responded. All of this ensures customer satisfaction and fast redressal of any issues that may arise

How does your brand help to leverage the operational cost?

We have unique philosophy operating across all our brands which is to provide high quality, hygienic, well packed, restaurant quality food at an affordable price point to our customers doorstep. We operate at a 70% lower opex compared to a similar sit down restaurant and we achieved this by operating multiple brands in all our kitchens thereby sharing both fixed and variable costs. A robust cloud based IT backbone helps us track our inventory seamlessly thereby significantly reducing wastage. Our team uses predictive analysis to forecast demand hence reducing our inventory holding cost.

What is the source of funding? How do you operate?

Ceres is a self-funded business. Both the founders are highly qualified professionals with experience of working for top MNCs and also operating businesses. We decided to get into this underserved space because of our passion for food and the lack of quality and consistent product offering.

We operate a hub and spoke model to control our costs and to maintain consistency and quality of food across all our outlets. Our state of the art central kitchen headed and operated by an experienced kitchen team is located in Marol, Andheri (East). We operate our Andheri(E) outlet out of the same location thereby reducing costs. Our satellite kitchens are located in Lower Parel, Andheri (W) and Powai, all operating our three brands. Our central kitchen is equipped to support another 30 Virtual Restaurants across Mumbai and Pune without any incremental costs. With strong reliance on technology our unique business model allows us better profitability and expansion capability compared to traditional F&B players without compromising on our core ethos of easy to order & easy on the pocket high quality food.

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