Industry News | July 20, 2010

Chutney Joe's Open for Franchising

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Chutney Joe’s, an Indian concept, announced the official launch of its franchise program. The announcement reflects the restaurant’s local consumer appeal and global market potential.

According to founder Vijay Puniani, Chutney Joe’s offers customers a whole new way to enjoy fresh, home-style Indian cuisine in a casual, contemporary, and inviting setting. Customers of all ages and cultures feel comfortable in the atmosphere lightly modeled after Chipotle and Panda Express, while experiencing traditional Indian recipes.

"We’re very proud to announce the national debut of our exciting new brand," Puniani says. "Chutney Joe’s redefines the Indian food dining experience as we know it by offering guests incredibly healthy and delicious menu choices in a contemporary and inviting atmosphere.”

Chutney Joe’s supports its franchisees with a unique cooking system, training, marketing, real estate, architecture, and other aspects of franchise development. The Indian diner offers a combination of health-conscious fares, traditional flavors, and affordable prices with a footprint of about 1,500–2,000 square feet for in-line and less than 700 square feet for food-court stores.

The idea behind launching a fast-casual Indian food restaurant was developed by Puniani and his son Aatish. Their goal: To bring a piece of their culture to average “Joes” everywhere and improve the quality of food and speed of service found in other Indian restaurants.

“Chutney Joe’s is about an experience in dining that few others can recreate," Puniani says. "Our desire is to outdo ourselves creatively by appealing to our guests with an array of dishes in a clean and contemporary atmosphere. We know our brand will resonate very well with customers worldwide looking for a new way to enjoy traditional Indian cuisine.”

Since opening its doors, the restaurant has received significant local and national attention, including Fortune magazine, which noted Chutney Joe’s “homegrown foreign flavors” in an article about innovative exotic food concepts. In 2009, Business Week highlighted the restaurant as one of “America’s Most Promising Startups.”

The new diners will offer a selection of meat entrees (Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Rogan Josh, and Beef Korma) and vegetarian entrees (Red Bean Rajma, Spinach Paneer, Daal, Gobi Potatoes, and Garbanzo Masala), as well as a few sides (Chicken or Vegetarian Biryani and Tandoori Chicken Bites), all made from scratch each day. Customers can choose a combination of one or two entrees with Basmati Rice or Naan (plain, garlic, or whole wheat Indian bread). As per the name, six flavors of chutneys are also available to add a little extra spice to any dish.

Chutney Joe’s serves lunch and dinner with an average ticket sale of less than $10 per person. Stores will be able to accommodate front-of-house seating, patio dining, drive-thru windows, and a number of other build-out options, depending on the local community and available site. Potential revenue streams are equally flexible and diverse: takeout, delivery, optional liquor sales, and/or catering can be added to the mix.

"In the culinary world, the fresh Indian food category is absolutely exploding," Puniani says. "That’s why we believe this is the perfect time to launch an innovative, quality franchise like Chutney Joe’s. We’re confident we can turn this unique concept into a winning worldwide franchise."

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