Select Service Partner (SSP), a GBP 1.08 bn. company, which operates catering and retail units in over 600 sites, primarily airports and railway stations, across 26 countries and which owns such well known inhouse brands as ‘Caffe Ritazza,’ ‘Upper Crust,’ ‘Whistlestop,’ ‘Harry Ramsden’ and has franchised a number of internationally recognised brands, such as, ‘Pizza Hut,’ ‘Burger King’ has tied up with Rs. 300 crore RKHS (formerly Radha Krishna Hospitality Services) group, which owns RK Foodland, a broadline and customised food service, distribution and solutions company based on ‘farm to plate’ concept and Accor Radhakrishna (a JV with Accor S.A. of France), a Ticket restaurant (food voucher) business company to enter the travel concessionaires business with an initial plan to set up eateries at airports and railway stations in India. Under the agreement, RKHS will launch ‘Cafe Ritazza’ at Indian airports.
Sunil Nayak, CEO, RKHS said that this was the company’s first foray into the travel concessionaires business and that over the next two-three years, it was expected to contribute upto eight per cent of the company’s total turnover, which by 2010 is expected to reach Rs.1,000 crore, reports Business Standard.
“Privatisation of airports and a rapid growth in air traffic in the country will increase the demand for food offerings of international standard and service at airports,” said Jude D’Cruz, vice-president – strategy and new business, RKHS. Two outlets are already functional in Mumbai at the departure terminal of the international airport and the Lilavati Hospital. Depending upon the rate at which the airports are revamped, further outlets are expected in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Morten Sorensen, commercial director, SSP-International Development said that it could look at bringing in other brands from its international portfolio to India once the market for travel concessionaires would be further developed.
Nayak said that the company was also looking at developing a local concept which would be more Indianised to suit the local needs. While it already has over 50 such food concepts like “Juices and more” and “Khatta Meetha” these are operated at the institutional level. RKHS recently entered the railway catering segment with its Rail Rasoi brand under which it would manage on- board food services on specific routes.