Lite Bite Foods, which runs over 180 restaurant stores including Punjab Grill and Street Foods, is looking to list on the stock market over the next 12 months, joining the select few listed restaurant firms such as Domino's operator Jubilant FoodWorks, Speciality Restaurants and Westlife Development which runs McDonald's in the West and South. "We can probably go public in the next year. We've reached those numbers. There are two ways to fund the business — private equity or a public listing. I'm more interested in going public," Lite Bite Foods chairman Amit Burman told ET.
"The eating-out sentiment is coming back. Impact of demonetisation, goods & services tax (GST) and the highway ban have settled down. There are only so many ways of entertainment. People will not stop eating out for a 5% increase in menu prices," Burman, who is also Dabur group vice chairman said. He added that in markets like Singapore or Hong Kong, people go out to eat about 28 times in a month. "In India, the number is three or four. So if you look at what we can do to make that three or four to 10, it's a big jump," he said.
Lite Bite's revenue grew 30-32% over last year, and Burman said the near Rs 300-crore business has identified Punjab Grill, Street Foods and Artful Baker, a recently set up vertical for institutions under which it runs cafeterias at office complexes and schools, and food courts at airports, as growth engines. Travel and the conventional store model are contributing equally to company revenues.
He said the company would maintain its array of brands mainly for its airports business, including Asia Seven and Zambar.