Penchant to set up 10 outlets across northern India by 2010

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) City-based Penchant Foods India Pvt Ltd today said it will open ten multi-cuisine food courts during the next three years in northern India, with an investment of about Rs 15 crore.

''We will open four food courts in this year and increase it to 10 by the end of 2010,'' company Chairman Rajiv Mehta told reporters here.

The company has recently opened the food court, under the brand name Melting Pot, in Shalimar Bagh in the national capital.

''The other places identified for the food-chain are Noida, Greater Noida, Vasant Kunj, Meerut, Vaishali, Zeerakpur (Chandigarh) and Mathura,'' said Mr Mehta, one of the visionaries behind country's first amusement park Appu Ghar.

The company will employ about 500 people in its ten outlets.

''The speciality of our Melting Pot will be wide-open kitchen with live cooking counters where one can see his/her food being cooked and even chat with the chef and tell them how much salt or masala they would like to have,'' said Mr Mehta, who also founded Groups 4 Securities.

Spread across 20,000 sq ft, the Shalimar Bagh outlet is fully equipped with a bakery, pub, coffee shop, a special kid's zone, and multi-cuisine food court.

''Adding to this, banqueting facilities for pre and post marriage celebrations, birthday parties and other get-togethers. Melting Pot brings to its customer a food, celebration and fun zone like never before,'' he said.

A unique section of Melting Pot is Hungama Kidz, an area completely dedicated to kids.

''Here the kids can play, paint and be themselves as they binge on treats of their choice. It gives parents the option to drop their kids as they enjoy a shopping spree,'' Mr Rajiv said.

The company is in talks with various developers for this venture and is open for joint venture as well, he said.

Mr Mehta, who is based in Sweden, owns a venture capitalist firm--Swedish Venture Capitalist Institure (SVCI)-- there.

He will also invest Rs 50 lakhs over the next two years in a venture for developing inhaler for asthma patients which, he claims, will utilise ninety per cent of the medicine.

''The inhalers which are available in the market waste lot of medicine and the patients do not get the benefit,'' he said.

Mr Mehta has also invested Rs 50 lakhs for medical tourism where the patients from Sweden will be treated here.

UNI MP SR BD1733

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