Delhi-based restaurant chain Cocoberry on Wednesday said it will invest up to Rs 120 crore over the next two years in order to expand in metros and Tier I cities in the country.

The chain, which specialises in frozen fresh yogurt and fruit dessert items, said it will also be looking out for franchise partners to help in expansion.

“We have earmarked an investment of Rs. 120 crore for our pan-India expansion during the next two years. To start with, we are now going to foray beyond Delhi NCR and Mumbai, with 12 new restaurants across cities like Bangalore, Pune and Chennai by March,” Cocoberry Managing Director G.S. Bhalla told PTI.

He said the company is mulling over opening outlets in malls and large format stores as part of its plan to tap the craze for healthy food among urban youngsters and professionals.

The investment will come from the company’s internal accrual and debts, he added.

“Going forward, we plan to open 50 outlets in all metros and Tier I cities by the end of 2010-11,” Mr. Bhalla said.

Cocoberry currently operates seven restaurants in Delhi NCR and Mumbai with an average floor space of 450-750 sq ft.

Mr. Bhalla said the company is also giving franchise licenses to private operators.

“The franchise route is always helpful for geographical expansion. Our first two franchise outlets will open in Bangalore next month,” he said.

Cocoberry is also exploring the option of opening restaurants in large departmental stores and malls.

“We have started talks with some mall owners and retail chains for opening shop-in-shops. We are hopeful of a breakthrough soon,” Mr. Bhalla said, without giving further details.

Cocoberry is aiming to tap the potential demand for health foods like yogurt in the country.

“Yogurt has been a major item in restaurant menus in places like Italy and Korea for over a century. There is a huge unorganised market for frozen yogurt in India also and we want to tap it,” he said

More In: Companies | Business