Barbeque Nation to firm up mass media communication plans for fiscal 2015

BENGALURU:  Indian casual dining restaurant chain Barbeque Nation (BN) opened its 39 restaurant in Ahmedabad on 22 October. The chain has six restaurants in Bengaluru. A typical opening is preceded and followed for a while by radio jingles, outdoor billboards within the catchment areas of the new restaurant and print ads in mainline media in that city.

So far, industry sources say that, the chain had no firm media plans or strategy for brand building. All that is going to change says BN India head of marketing Vikram Varma. The company plans to come up with marketing and brand building plans for fiscal 2015. While Varma could not disclose the ad and sales promotion budgets that BN will set aside since this is  still in progress, industry estimates peg  spends of restaurant chains at between 5- 8 per cent of revenue.

 “On an average, we serve about 400 customers per day per restaurant,” revealed Varma to at the ‘Pat Chapman Grills the World’ festive season experience at BN’s flagship Indiranagar, Bengaluru restaurant. “The average area of our restaurants is about 4000 square feet, and we spend anything upwards of Rs 2 crore for setting up a restaurant,” said Varma.

  “We find radio to be quite an effective medium, especially during a new launch or for an event such as the one by Pat Chatman. We use mainline print, because we find it a lot more effective, and at present haven’t allocated funds for culinary publications. We are also on social media, contact customers through SMS and direct emails. Generally we’ve found that a campaign in a city adds about 30 per cent new customers, while about 70 per cent are repeat customers,” informed Varma.

BN closed last year with revenues of about Rs 270 crore, and is expected to close this fiscal at about Rs 300 crore – based on industry estimates, this pegs its ad spends at between Rs 15  crore to Rs 25 crore for FY-2016, figures that would tempt any agency to pitch for the account. Fisheye handles the creative duties for BN. The company does its own media buying.

 At the Pat Chapman Grills the World festival, Chef Chapman presents his marinades range from the British Yorkshire and Jamaican Jerk Marinades to the Spanish Valencia and Albuquerque Atomic Marinades. BN has taken Chapman’s festival to its various restaurants in NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

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