We Get 15,000 Franchise Enquiries In A Year, We Choose 2: Rameshwaram Cafe Founder

People think that it’s hard to get into the IITs and IIMs, but some other opportunities can be just as competitive.

Rameshwaram Cafe receives at least a thousand franchise enquiries a month, founder Divya Raghavendra Rao says. “If I’m honest, we get at least thousand inquiries in a month,” she said. “So close to ten to 15,000 franchise inquiries we get in a year. But we choose only two people in a year,” she added.

Rameshwaram Cafe has exploded in popularity over the last few years. The company had started off from a single outlet in Bengaluru, but received rave reviews. The cafe was particularly popular among the city’s startup community, and memes and jokes around it soon began going viral on social media. The company expanded to three outlets in Bengaluru, and is planning to expand to Hyderabad and Dubai.

But Rameshwaram Cafe has been very deliberate in expanding and giving out its franchises, going as far as to add only two franchises a year. “We choose only two people in a year. That’s the level of examination we do. We make them wait. We understand their patience,” Divya Raghavendra Rao says.

“It’s not just about the investment now,” she says. “We want investments, but there are many people who can give us investment. But we want the right team, the right partner. Someone who can stand with us, and who has a the same level of understanding and dedication to work with us. No matter who this partner is, they should be ready to lift the customer’s plate and even wash it. (Even today) if the housekeeping guy is late, Raghav (her co-founder and husband) does that, I’m proud to say,” Divya says.

And these values are something the founders themselves embody. Raghavendra Rao had started off his food business journey from a roadside cart in Seshadripuram, and worked with Le Meridian as a cashier, cleaner, counter boy, and then as a manager. “He has cut vegetables, he’d done everything,” Divya had said about her co-founder in an earlier interview. And it appears that this is the bar that Rameshwaram Cafe wants to keep as it looks to expand its business with new franchises.