Why the journey of Wat-a-Burger is worth sharing?
Who can say ‘No’ to a Burger? Burgers are undoubtedly one of the most famous and popular American dish in India. It is easy to cook, soothes our appetite, and satisfies our taste buds for extra chilly cravings. With thousands of outlets, brands, and local businesses serving various kinds of burgers, a brand called Wat-a-Burger is certainly worth trying. Popular among the lanes of Noida, Wat-a-Burger is definitely a one-stop solution for small hunger.
Rajat Jaiswal’s Wat-a-Burger is a perfect fusion between an information technology professional and a pilot together. Rajat Jaiswal, a commercial airline pilot, and his friend Farman Beig launched Wat-a-Burger in Noida, in 2016. Today, the franchise has its shops in 16 cities with over 60 outlets. But this journey of a multi-crore franchise was born out of love, friendship, and desire to create a perfect blend of Desi and Videsi.
How Did Wat-a-Burger Start?
In 2009, Rajat Jaiswal first started flying airplanes and had enjoyed working in the airline industry. However, as the airline industry is volatile uncertainty of job security remains a major factor to worry about future. Additionally, the life of being a pilot is often threatened due to growing age and health issues further impacting the financial status. Thus, Rajat believes that it’s always safe to have an alternate source of income.
Rajat Jaiswal and Farman Beig are childhood friends and since childhood has a keen interest in forming their own business. After completing their studies and experimenting their hands at different jobs, the duo decided to open their food franchise. In 2016, they started their venture known as Wat-a-Burger. The stats also did the talking. They knew that food is a lucrative business and probably will never sink thus they sort on selling burgers. The only problem was that their main competitors like Mcdonalds and Burger king were already in the market operating for years. Thus setting their USP became the first priority.
“We stood outside these outlets and offered the burgers to potential customers. We marketed the food item with a payback guarantee. We assured repayments for customers who did not like them. Fortunately, such an occasion never occurred in the initial three months when the campaign was running. People loved us for our uniqueness,” said Rajat Jaiswal in an interview with the better India.
Fusion gave them a unique value in the market and also made them stand out. They experimented by offering a desi twist to the Burgers. For example, Butter Chicken is a popular dish that almost 80 percent of chicken lovers are familiar with, thus customer risks less by ordering Butter chicken Burgers because they know the taste of Butter Chicken. A similar has experimented with Paneer Makhani and Kadhai Paneer. The stores’ best-selling products are the paneer chili burger, desi street-style burger, the peri-peri chicken burger, chicken makhani burger, and crunchy double chicken burger. Wat-a-burger offers 20 varieties of burgers that start at Rs 49 and go up to Rs 189.
In the initial months, the business did well and they earned a reasonable profit. But with time the business kicked off and today their yearly turnover is Rs 39 crore. Because the ingredients are freshly prepared unlike the frozen items, the fresh taste also adds up to the popularity of the franchise. They have established local food supply chains that deliver fresh produce like vegetables and sauces. The quality of the raw material is checked before using and tasting sessions with the head chef are also held frequently to ensure top quality.
The burger buns are prepared in Noida and sent to different parts of the country where they have other outlets. This helps them ensure that the taste and quality of the items are similar in their every outlet.
Wat-a-Burger Scaling Up Quickly
Following the first store in Noida Sector 18 and the second one in Sector 76, Wat-a-Burger today has expanded to over 60 outlets in almost 16 cities. They have stores in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ghaziabad, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Gorakhpur, Faridabad, Ranchi, Jhansi, and Srinagar.
The covid-19 impact on the business resulted in expanding and diversifying their menu. Rajat and Farman are now working on including more varieties like the recently added Biryani menu. Along with the burgers they also serve fries, rolls and shakes making their menu more eclectic. The duo aims to open 500 more outlets in other cities in the next 5 years. As of now, Rajat Jaiswal is balancing perfectly between his airline career as a pilot and the blooming burger business. On the other hand, Farman Beig has quitted his job and is now working full time with the franchise. With such a dynamic business approach, Wat-a-Burger is no longer in competitor in the market and has its own aspiring consumer base.