Maggi fried with bhurji, caramelised onion and sausages may be Indrajit Ghosh’s go-to meal for a midnight craving, but he appreciates a good biryani. This global head, marketing communication and design, Rebel Foods—which handles Behrouz Biryani among others—is now planning to take the business a notch higher with experiential services. “Every brand needs to push the envelope to create customer journeys that are unique,” he says. One of the first such services is the Mehfil-e-Behrouz—a special dining out substitute for celebrations at home.
Up and running in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru, the concept is now eyeing more cities by March. Comprising a three-course meal curated by Chef Kunal Kapoor, accompaniments such as intricately woven table runners, candle holders, and placemats complete the experience. No messy disposable food boxes here—the food comes in metal containers; and there’s the perfect setting too. Ghosh elaborates, “The year 2020 has been really tough.
We realised it may be long before people can step out. To rekindle special moments, we came up with Mehfil-e-Behrouz. It is a great alternative for people to have a mehfil (close gathering) at home with their loved ones.” Founded by Jaydeep Barman and Kallol Banerjee, Rebel Foods is the largest virtual restaurant chain in India. With brands such as Faasos, Behrouz, Oven Story, Mandarin Oak, Lunch Box, Sweet Truth and Firangi Bake, diversity is their calling card. Aiming at becoming the largest food player in India, the brand is looking at a busy 2021.
Plans are afoot to launch experiences beyond just delivering good quality food. Behrouz’s Mehfil-e-Biryani was a start. “Soon you’ll see a Behrouz crew come and set up a royal dining experience at the comfort of your home,” says Ghosh. This is not the first time that Rebel Foods has been quick on the uptake on what gets kicking in the food business. In 2016, they realised scaling up wasn’t as profitable as the rent-to-sales ratio.
With 75 percent of orders coming from delivery, they decided to head the cloud kitchen way. “It was a light-bulb moment for us. If people are willing to order our products without seeing our outlet, we realised food could be completely sold online. We closed our outlets, booked kitchen spaces on industrial estates with lower rents and started ‘internet restaurants’.” They say every cloud has a silver lining. If the pandemic robbed us of fine dining in restaurants, it also brought in pampering meal experiences at home.