An Entrepreneur has to don many hats and one of them is marketing and salesmanship. Successful entrepreneurship is not just about developing these skills but also about knowing how much marketing is needed to produce the right effect.
Apparently, there is also a thing called too much marketing which could hurt the interest of the business. This is what exactly happened with the founder of WTF! Where’s The Food. His over-marketing and salesmanship along with his inability to listen to sharks left him with zero deals from the sharks.
WTF! Where’s The Food
They have tried to solve the budget problems of middle-class people and to enhance the dining experience they have launched BSR (Budget Smart Restaurant Chain).
Currently, WTF! Where’s The Food are located at 4 centers in Kolkata. 75% of their menu has standardized pricing so that the customers know how much they will spend if they choose to dine in their eatery.
They provide good food and ambiance which is at par with any good restaurant at an affordable price. Their caption is “The 5-Star of the middle class”
They offer Asian cuisine and they are also planning to launch their sauces to be sold online. The main ingredient in their food is this sauce. All their food is prepared using this sauce to keep the taste uniform across all their outlets.
|General dishes (It includes noodles, rice, chicken, etc)||₹149|
All their outlets have 18-20 seater capacity.
WTF! Where’s The Food Founder
Sayan Chakraborty is the founder of WTF! Where’s The Food and he hails from Kolkata. He started this brand with his 3 friends. Initially, they would sell sandwiches. Later one of his friends went for higher studies and another friend pursued a job.
There were times when during his exams he would hold a book in his one hand to study and grill the sandwiches with his other hand. One very important thing that he mentioned in his pitch was that he did not have CAC (Customer acquisition cost) instead he had CAS (Customer acquisition strategy).
He came up with some unique strategies for acquiring customers. One of which was that when he launched a package he priced it at ₹69. So it was basically called WTF at ₹69, which he claims went viral in Kolkata.
Also during covid, when people were hesitant to eat in restaurants he introduced candlelight dinners at ₹149, and he says that it increased his sales by 2X.
He also expressed to sharks his desire to be India’s best salesman, and according to sharks he already is. He was indeed successful in painting a beautiful picture of his brand for sharks.
However, when the judges came to know about his business numbers that picture lost its beauty and the sharks lost their interest in his business.
He also has written a book called WTF Just happened in Bengali, which Ratan Tata loved it and mailed him to appreciate his book.
WTF! Where’s The Food Shark Tank
The founder had asked for ₹75 lakhs for 5% of the equity at ₹15 crores valuation.
The CapEx to open each outlet is ₹4 to 5 lakhs.
The average sales of each outlet are ₹5 to ₹5.25 lakhs. His net profit is 30% which is ₹1.5 lakhs.
When Peyush asked how many outlets he will have to open if he wants to make ₹1 crore EBITA, he was trying to go round and round around the topic. Although he did give an answer that he will have to open 10 to 15 outlets. Anupam challenged it by stating that he will need 100 outlets, based on his profit margins. It seems like he is good at marketing, but weak at calculations.
There were more than 2 to 3 instances where he would not give direct answers to the questions of the sharks, which pissed them off.
Amit Jain pointed out that as per his calculation, the table turns in his restaurant are only 2 to 3 times and Anupam Mittal pointed out that for any good restaurant, this number is 6 times. The sharks were disappointed with the fact that the founder talked as if his brand is very big, but his table turns numbers were pretty dismal.
Peyush Bansal told that his bussiness model is proven by big brands like wow! Momos, however, more work needs on scalability and he thought that he would not add value and was out.
Namita Thapar felt that he will get tough competition from street side Chinese food and making a brand and scaling would be challenging.
Amit Jain pointed out that the founder lacked a listening ear and that is why he was out.
Anupam Mittal said that if he asks one thing, the founder gives 2 to 3 irrelevant replies due to which they cannot move forward and back out.
Aman Gupta thought that the founder thinks that he has got a GOD complex as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. He thought that the founder went over the top with salesmanship and marketing. He clearly told him that he did not like anything in his pitch apart from food and he was out.
Where Can You Find Them
Pitches like this serve as a good example for entrepreneurs to prepare better for their pitches not only to sharks but to any investor. It teaches them what mistakes should not be made while pitching their product. The founder might have gone overboard with his marketing, but to some extent, a huge percentage of his success must be the result of his salesmanship skills. So as an entrepreneur, it is important to know how much to market your product or services and when to listen to the people who can help you with your bussiness. It’s about having a balance and getting your timing right.
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