Explosion Rocks Rameshwaram Cafe In Bengaluru; Learn More

The Whitefield branch of the popular cafe chain The Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru saw a blast on Friday morning. The cause of the fire is suspected to be an LPG cylinder blast, according to police officials. Although there have been no casualties, the explosion left five people injured, according to reports. 

The injured have been shifted to a local hospital, officials confirmed. Visuals of the blast surfaced on social media. The Rameshwaram Cafe (also known as TRC) was launched in 2021 and currently has four branches across Bangalore, in J.P Nagar, Indiranagar, Brookfield and Rajajinagar. TRC emerged as one of the most popular breakfast and lunch joints in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) segment owing to its classic menu and modest rates. 

The Success Story Behind The Rameshwaram Cafe

The Rameshwaram Cafe has recently been lauded for setting new benchmarks for profit and highlighting the potential in India's QSR business model. The cafe chain made news last year when it was revealed that it’s making about Rs 4.5 crores a month. Sujeet Kumar, co-founder of B2B marketplace Udaan, talked about the cafe’s success in Nikhil Kamath’s popular podcast series. 

“If you see Rameshwaram Cafe. They cut 7,500 bills a day. One store which is hardly 10 by 10 or 10 by 15 square feet. does Rs 4.5 crore business a month and clocks around Rs 50 crore a year. They also make decent margins. Around 70 per cent gross margins," said Kumar.

The QSR brand currently has four branches across Bangalore- in J.P Nagar, Indiranagar, Brookfield and Rajajinagar and processes 7,500 bills daily. The Rameshwaram Cafe was founded by CA Divya Raghavendra Rao and her husband Raghavendra Rao in 2021. The name of the cafe was chosen as an homage to the late Mr. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthplace in Tamil Nadu. 

“We have dedicated this brand to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as Rameshwaram was his birthplace. Another logical reason is because we are into pure veg, authentic South Indian food and we want to go across the globe. When an outsider hears the word Rameshwaram, it’s easy to connect back to South India,” Divya said in a recent interview. Bollywood celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Kartik Aaryan etc have also been spotted at the cafe.

The Hype Around TRC: Is It Overhyped?

One of the USPs for the brand has been its timings and quick service. TRC opens its doors at 6 am and stays open till 2 am; the option of cheap, quick food post midnight is a big draw for Bangaloreans. The cafe unveiled an outlet in Hyderabad last month and on its site, the brand has shared its expansion plans. TRC plans to expand beyond Bangalore and travel to cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, with a strong global presence in the next 5 years.

Quality ingredients are also responsible for earning TRC its local hype. In a recent interview hosted by My Jar, Divya shed some light on the details. “Our business is good but our costs are very high because we use pure ghee and other high-quality raw materials. Our staff costings are also high because they work nearly 24/7. Our rentals are also high because we are located in prime areas,” she said.

The popularity of TRC has been mostly organic and the celebrity sightings have helped its hype spread. The founders have shared that they have not relied on paid promotion on social media through bloggers. “To be very honest, since the launch of our first outlet in Indiranagar, I don’t have a single paid blogger. (The content posted on social media was because) People understand the effort that has been put into the business. They come, they taste the food and they like it, that’s why they’re posting it,” Divya said recently at a podcast.

A few months ago, however, a Reddit thread went viral that pegged The Rameswaram Cafe as ‘overhyped’; though most locals praised its quick service, foodies were quick to mention that many other brands are offering similar components as TRC and at cheaper rates. TRC's new branch at Hyderabad's Madhapur has been received well and owners have talked about their plans of opening up an outlet in Dubai in the near future.