Chinese cuisine has always been one of the most comforting and go-to food choices for people across the globe. From top of the line cafes to street side stalls, Chinese food is all over. The authenticity of Chinese cuisine lies in its ingredients and therefore it is only being served in some fine-dine restaurants.
As a result, most of the crowd is deprived from getting the actual taste of this cuisine. This is where the Kolkata-based food startup Chowman comes into picture. This startup is the brainchild of an avid traveler, musician and a big time foodie, Debaditya Chaudhury, who aims to bring the high-end dining experiences to the masses.
Expansion of Chowman During the Pandemic
A small startup was established in 2010 with a mere idea of bringing the culture of Bengal, that is, their love for food and music, into one place and providing the experience of fine dining at a reasonable price. Chowman became the talk of the town when it recently launched a cloud kitchen in Bengaluru.
Its decision to open up a cloud kitchen amidst pandemic and targeting the working professionals became a profitable business expansion move. In the COVID era, people are more skeptical about going out to dine in. Perceiving the consumer behaviour, Chowman focused on home delivery and takeout services.
The startup also plans to open up 4 more outlets in Bangalore by the end of 2021. While the food and beverage industry struggled to stay afloat, startups like Chowman focused on two key areas:
- Quality of food
- Fast delivery services
Chowman has prioritized on gaining loyal customers with its affordable pricing and high quality dining experience. Even after the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the startup focuses more towards home deliveries.
The revenue model of Chowman is based on low-profit margins with a standardized pricing across all the 15 outlets in Kolkata.
Chowman’s USP lies in its way of democratizing fine dining and bringing the five-star quality experience at an affordable price.
How Music Shaped Chowman’s Menu?
Debaditya Chaudhury, being a part of a band – Lakkhichhara, travelled around the world, tasting various cuisines. His Bengali foodie heart made him try authentic Chinese cuisine. That is when he realized that this particular cuisine has not been given its due credit in India.
By establishing Chowman, Chaudhury blended his musical experience with Bengalis’ love for Chinese cuisine together under one niche.
How Chowman is Different From the Others in The Market?
Chowman serves mainstream Chinese dishes like Chili Chicken and Hakka Chow. These are the nostalgic Kolkata-Chinese dishes. Along with these, it also serves some exquisite dishes like dimsums, minced pork in oyster sauce, etc.
What makes them different from others is:
They import most of their sauces and cutleries from Hong Kong and Thailand.
Starting a business in a saturated market like Kolkata, which is already crowded with Chinese restaurants in every corner of the city was a challenge. However, Chowman’s USP lies in its way of democratizing fine dining and bringing the five-star quality experience at an affordable price.
What’s in it for Food Startups?
Chowman left a mark in the F&B industry by understanding the business market and targeting the right consumer with the right strategy:
- It brought in the fine-dine experience minus the fancy protocols making it more comfortable for general masses.
- Tapping the home delivery sector by partnering with Swiggy and Zomato at the time of pandemic was a spot-on strategy. This has resulted in the highest number of fleets with around 150 bikers only in Kolkata.
Food and restaurant businesses should research, analyse and know the market discreetly, perceive consumers’ minds and based on that, respond with a sure-shot strategy.