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How Wow! Momo has reinvented itself to live through lockdown disruptions

Ajita Shashidhar     June 30, 2020

Popular Tibetan and Chinese food QSR chain, Wow! Momo Foods has partnered with Cafe Coffee Day to set up Wow! Momo kiosks in Cafe Coffee Day stores across the country. With coronavirus bringing the restaurant industry to a standstill, restaurant brands are looking at ways of collaborating with each other in order to stay afloat. Having a Wow! Momo Cart at CCD stores would obviously mean that CCD and Wow! Momo would share footfalls as well as rentals.

Sagar Daryani, CEO and Founder, Wow! Momo, says that to begin with, they will be setting up Wow! Momo carts in 30 CCD outlets, but going forward, there would be expanding it to 500 CCD stores. "The lockdown has forced us to look at a collaborative approach of doing business. We are looking at tying up with a few F&B brands, trying to do shop-in-shops as well as co-sharing of locations. We are also in partnership talks with hotel aggregators, other QSR chains and even telcos."

The Kolkata-headquartered QSR start-up through the lockdown has been trying hard to reinvent itself in order to stay afloat during these difficult times. Daryani, during the lockdown, has forayed into hyperlocal grocery delivery by launching a new business vertical, Wow! Momo Essentials. Out of his 345 stores, only 63 were open for delivery, so, Daryani decided to convert his stores into dark grocery warehouses and started his grocery delivery business. Wow! Momo Essentials, he claims, contributed 50 per cent to its revenue in the month of May. After doing a topline of Rs 16 crore in the month of February, its revenue went down to Rs 2.5 crore in April. "In February, we touched Rs 5 crore topline, thanks to Wow! Momo Essentials," explains Daryani.

Wow! Momo has an employee strength of 2,700, out of which it was able to employ only 735 for its food delivery business. It has recently redeployed 400 of its employees to lifestyle brand, Wildcraft. The latter has forayed into masks and has been setting up kiosks to sell masks across the country, for which it needs manpower.

While the staff that have been deployed at Wildcraft would return to the QSR company's pay-roll as soon as business gets back to normal, Daryani is not sure if he will run Wow! Momo Essentials in the long-term. "I don't see people coming to Wow! Momo Essentials to shop for grocery on a daily basis after the lockdown is lifted."


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