CCD: Café or dhaba?

As India's largest café chain loads its platter, the question to ask is: Can a lot still happen over coffee?

Published: Oct 9, 2018 10:05:17 AM IST
Updated: Oct 9, 2018 11:01:52 AM IST

g_109811_buttery_paneer_masala_with_rice_280x210.jpg Image: CAFÉ COFFEE DAY

A lot might have happened over coffee in India since 1996, when Café Coffee Day (CCD) opened its first outlet in Bengaluru. But now what’s brewing, oops cooking, is food.

With crispy samosa kulcha, maska masala bun, rajma rice, grilled chicken kulcha, and brownie ice cream, India’s biggest coffee chain (in terms of number of outlets) just got a radical makeover, thanks to the recent rollout of its ‘totally worth it menu’, which includes exhaustive all-day meal options.

The idea is to satiate consumers who, on an average, spend more than an hour at the café.  

“There has been a growing trend of people looking for more snacking options along with their coffee,” says Venu Madhav, CEO, CCD. The café, he adds, is a place to meet, and it couldn’t just be over coffee. Since CCD also stays open the whole day, consumers were seeking meal options. “It was imperative for us to assess and offer food options.”

Though Madhav believes food and beverages are the need of the hour, marketing experts reckon CCD might dilute its brand. “The irony is that a dhaba never specialises in anything,” says a marketing expert.

Madhav, for his part, backs the move. The concept of a ‘café’, he says, is not restrictive to a specific beverage. “The space is open to addressing a customer’s need, be it hunger or a need to just unwind,” he says.

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(This story appears in the 26 October, 2018 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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