Tuesday 19th June 2018

    Creating a New Chocolate Culture…

    Dressed impeccably in a dark blue Nehru jacket, Chaitanya Kumar, Co-founder & CMD, The Chocolate Room was beaming with pride as he spoke to Trade Briefs about the company’s journey so far and its future plans…

    Congratulations! Chocolate Room has completed a decade. How has been the journey so far?
    Ever since the launch of the first store in 2007, we have endeavoured to create an unmatched chocolate experience. We have always tried to enhance customer’s experiences at our stores by providing them with the excellent quality of The Chocolate Room products and services. Our aim is to provide our customers with a unique chocolate moment every time they visit our stores. 

    Can you give us a peep into your unique menu?
    The Chocolate Room is India’s most famous chain of chocolate café. We not only serve chocolate for all age groups but also mouth watering offerings such as Mexican Bells, Fusion Sandwiches, Burger, Pancakes, Frozen Coffee, Fruit Frappers, Cocktails, Side Serves, Sundaes, Colada, Iced Tea, Affogato, Pasteries & Desserts to name a few. We also have breakfast, lunch and dinner in our 16-page menu which is the biggest in the café industry. 
    What gives you that competitive edge?
    As far as competition is concerned, we do not have one as our café indulge in offering customers unique flavors of Italian hot chocolate, chocolate fondues, chocolate melting pots and a variety of chocolate cakes, waffles and Belgian chocolates to choose from. Again we are recognizable by our cuddle cup and other characteristic beakers and provide comforting receptacles in which we offer our particular recipes of comfort drinks and foods. From a sizzling hot chocolate or chilled cold Slurpee and an array of sweet or savoury snacks, there is something for every mood and taste bud.
    How do you plan to go about your marketing strategy?
    Today, with over 230 stores spread across geographies, our aim is to continue to expand footprint of The Chocolate Room across the world. And by 2020 we have plans to reach our target of 500 stores. We have already chalked out plans to open stores in Tier I and Tier II cities as we are working on reversal ideology which we did in the past. We also have big plans for metro cities where we are planning Café Lounges which will serve alcoholic drinks along with chocolates. We are already in talks with Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel and Kurla where we plan to start these lounges. We are also eyeing Middle East and other Asian countries to open up our cafés.
    How do you plan to fund these expansions?
    So far we have been self-funding our projects. However we will take the Venture Capital route to fund our future projects. We have already embarked on a 3-model franchise system called FOFO (franchise owned franchise operated), FOCO (franchise owned company operated) and COCO (company owned company operated) to achieve our target of setting up of 500 stores by 2020. 
    What are your future plans?
    We have plans to put up a chocolate factory in Mumbai in the next 3-6 months time which will produce different types of chocolates, thereby lowering dependence on importing chocolates from countries like Belgium, Italy and other chocolate producing countries. We also plan to create a ‘new chocolate culture’ by organizing events like ‘World Dessert Festival’ in October where desserts from across the globe can be served on a platter, and the same can be replicated in other cities or states. Ultimately, we want to see this company grow into a 100 crore firm by 2020.