We have in front of our office, 2 service providers, for our timely breaks from work. Both of them are very distinct in the services they offer and the customers also have unique. One of them is coffee day and the other is our own Chaiwala. I found it interesting to dissect and see how they differ and what makes the customers chose them.
Branding: Coffee Day is branded hugely and has more than 100 franchisees in Bangalore alone. Chaiwalas dont have any sort of branding, but they also have a huge presence all over the city. You will find them almost everywhere.
Ambience: Coffee Day has a very nice ambiance with some nice music playing in the background and a big LCD screen with one of the music channels ON (muted). They also have a policy that they can only play music and movie channels. This must be a tested and proven strategy which adds some Masala to the whole thing. The seating arrangements are also nice - cushioned and all, mostly catering to a group of 2-4. It will be air-conditioned.
Chaiwala has none of the luxuries listed above. He will usually setup a makeshift table on the road-side, on which will be displayed all his goods on sale. No seating. No A/C.
No Music. No TV. No luxuries.
Menu: Coffee Day serves many types of coffees, flavors usually foreign. It also serves light food like sandwiches, samosas, cakes, and pastries which can easily fill your stomach. They usually have a non-smoking section inside and a smoking one on the outside. You cant buy cigarettes though.
Chaiwala offers cigerettes, paan (tobacco), some 2-3 types of biscuits, bun bread, chakli, kodubale (salty-cpicy home made snacks) and tea. All the eatables will be usually kept in glass jars. There is no coffee served. And the tea will be usually in a very small cup and we usually call it chota-tea(small tea). He also serves some mouth-fresheners for smokers.
Service: Coffee Days are usually small and they don't have too many people to serve. We have to wait till he comes and takes the order. I would tell that the service is OK. But not that too great. Its just fine.
I would say that the Chaiwala service is super-fast. As soon as we land there he will keep our chais ready and hand over the cigarettes to the smokers. He usually learns all this info over a period of time. There is only one counter and only one person serving everybody. The whole thing will end up in just 10 minutes.
Customers: Coffee day customers are people who usually have pre-decided to end up in coffee day and hang-around there for some time. It can include business people who want to discuss some deal, young people on dating, college gang who will end up there drinking some coffee and have a smoke, and people who are just very hungry. You will spend at-least half an hour there.
Chaiwala customers can be anybody and everybody. We usually end up there for our hourly breaks. It usually people who need a quick break. Construction workers also come there to have some chai and bread. children come there to have a snack. Obviously people on a date don't come here. If they come here, most probably it will be their last date. :)
Cost: I find Coffee Day expensive. i dont feel like paying 40 bucks for a coffee. I think you just end up paying for the time that you spend there, ala, rent for real-estate. If you really wanna drink some coffee, you should probably go to Adigas or some other darshini.
Chaiwala is damn cheap. Tea costs 2 rupees and the costliest item is the cigarette which is 4. No service taxes or whatever. you pay nothing extra.
So thats about it. But its nice to see these 2 operate right opposite. Each has got its own USP(Unique selling proposition).