Farzi Cafe, Zorawar Kalra’s Massive Restaurant brand, just announced its entry in the United States, with the first outlet set to open in the summer of 2022. Farzi already has a restaurant in North America located in Mississauga, Ontario.
“Our Canada restaurant is doing incredible numbers. It’s one of the busiest restaurants in our system and that gave us a lot of confidence,” Kalra said.
They had already finalized preparations for their US foray and the first location—which Kalra refused to reveal—even before their Canada restaurant debuted.
“With the Canadian outlet open, we’ve gotten more confident that the North American market is hungry for an internationally-acclaimed Indian brand. And that’s why we’re excited about the US and are looking at four restaurants in the first 18 to 24 months. The first one will be open by summer of this year, and the second one will be opening six to eight months after that,” he said.
“Now we’re looking for a talented chef with great innovation, great exposure and a deep understanding of authentic Indian food to come and lead the entire North American expansion,” he added.
Given the difficulty of obtaining visas, Kalra said his company was already in talks with candidates in India and North America.
“In Canada, we opened four months ago, and the phone has been ringing off the hook and we are already in advanced stages of discussion for other units, given the success of our restaurant. We had a meeting with a very large food group, which is not in Indian food, but they love Farzi, and they think there’s a huge potential for the brand in Canada,” he said.
“The American market is also something that we’re now looking at taking more seriously than others, because it’s probably the largest market in the world, and Indian food is woefully underrepresented there, especially from a chain perspective. There are no chain restaurants in our gourmet casual category,” Kalra said, adding, “I believe in the power of Indian food. I believe once it’s exposed to anyone’s palate, they will fall in love with it immediately. And I think that is exactly what is driving us and giving us the confidence, not our work, not the brand power—it is the power of the food itself”.
Farzi came in different shapes and sizes, he said, but they were seeking a minimum of 100 seats with a combination of indoor and outdoor places and premium real estate where lunch business was also good.