Reliance Brands is set to take on Tata Starbucks by bringing to India British sandwich and coffee chain Pret a Manger.
RBL, a Reliance Retail arm, plans to launch and build the Pret a Manger restaurant chain in India with a long-term master franchise agreement. The contours of the deal were not disclosed.
With the consolidation of Cafe Coffee Day, once India’s largest cafe chain, Tata Starbucks, an equal JV between Mumbai-based conglomerate Tata Group and Seattle headquartered Starbucks, has emerged as the strongest contender in the space with 272 outlets across 28 cities.
While Pret a Manger is perceived as predominantly a food-led brand globally, Darshan Mehta, MD at Reliance Brands, said that the chain boasts an exhaustive beverage play, including coffee.
“Unlike other cafe chains, where the food items have to be microwaved, this brand will have a hot section where fresh food will be served fresh,” said Mehta.
A major area of focus for the Reliance-led brand will be airports, where Tata Starbucks currently dominates.