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Rameshwaram Cafe's Owner Reveals the Story Behind the 4.5 Cr Business

July 12, 2023

Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

      If you’ve been to Bangalore in the past two years, you’ve definitely heard of Rameshwaram Cafe.

      Let's look at the Journey of Divya from CA to founding Rameshwaram Cafe; a 4.5 Crore Monthly Restaurant Business.

      Whether you’re a hardcore fan that’s ready to queue for hours for that perfect bite of ghee masala dosa or you simply don’t get the hype, there’s one thing we can all agree on- Rameshwaram Cafe has gained tremendous success and has become synonymous with Banglorean cuisine. 

      At Jar Exchange, we were just as curious as you so we decided to have a candid conversation with The Rameshwaram Cafe’s Owner to answer our burning questions and understand the cafe’s exponential growth. 

      So, who’s the owner of Rameshwaram Cafe? 

      The Rameshwaram Cafe was founded by CA Divya Raghavendra Rao and Raghavendra Rao in 2021. 

      When asked about the cafe’s origin story, Divya told us that from her time in IIM Ahmedabad as a postgraduate student, she envisioned bringing traditional South Indian cuisine to the limelight with consistent quality and service; the same way global chain restaurants like KFC and McDonalds were able to.

      This dream was furthered when she met Raghavendra, who had a humble food cart in Seshadripuram and brought along with him, 15+ years of experience in the food industry.  

      Together, they launched The Rameshwaram Cafe; a name chosen to pay tribute to the late Mr. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s birthplace -

      “We have dedicated this brand to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as Rameshwaram was his birthplace. Another logical reason is because we are into pure veg, authentic South Indian food and we want to go across the globe. When an outsider hears the word Rameshwaram, it’s easy to connect back to South India.”

      Why is Rameshwaram Cafe so famous?

      Now, to answer the question we are all dying to know- what makes Rameshwaram Cafe so special? Well, we noted a few points that Divya mentioned that contribute to the fame of this iconic cafe. 


      In order to maintain consistency across all chains, Raghavendra and Divya have strict regulations on food quality and choice of ingredients.

      For example, the usage of baking soda in foods is a strict no. They only use pure ghee, rather than mix it with oil.

      There’s no artificial colouring or flavouring in any of the recipes, allowing consistency and high quality in every menu item. 


      Rameshwaram Cafe is extremely particular about the freshness of foods; so much so that Divya mentions none of her outlets have refrigerators.

      Instead, the employees make fresh batches of batter and chutneys multiple times a day to ensure consistent taste and flavour.

      So whether you go early in the morning or late at night, you can always be sure your food is super fresh. 

      Staff Training 

      Divya mentions that before opening any outlet, her team appoints staff that undergo rigorous training to understand how the food needs to be prepared and how the cafe and crowds need to be managed.

      With currently over 700 employees and 10 core team members, Divya mentions that her team is a godsend and they are a key factor in the cafe’s success. 

      Rameshwaram Cafe Employee

      Long Hours 

      If there’s one thing that really stands out to us about Rameshwaram Cafe, it's the fact that it is open till 2 AM.

      There’s something oh so special about eating hot dosas and idlis in the middle of the night that speaks to Bangaloreans and the Rameshwaram Cafe menu has managed to win their hearts with their special timings.

      Divya also mentions that they are trying to keep the cafe open 24/7, so let’s all pray the approval comes in soon! 


      Lastly, another contributor to Rameshwaram Cafe’s fame is the culture within the company.

      If you’ve managed to pay a visit to the cafe, you’ll notice the staff serving you with a smile on their face, even if it's in the middle of the night.

      Divya also mentioned that the brand has a dedicated team to keep a check on negative reviews so they can work towards doing better.  

      The Perfect Marketing Strategy: The Key To Organic Growth

      We’ve all seen the Instagram reels and Facebook posts that promote Rameshwaram Cafe. When asked about their marketing strategy, here’s what Divya had to say- 

      “To be very honest, since the launch of our first outlet in Indiranagar, I don’t have a single paid blogger. (The content posted on social media was because) People understand the effort that has been put into the business. They come, they taste the food and they like it, that’s why they’re posting it. Initially, when we started the business, we discussed this because nowadays social media promotions are so important. But we decided that only customers were the ones to give genuine feedback and that’s what I wanted. (So with our marketing strategy) it was all purely organic. If you see, we also post our food on Instagram and Facebook but it's only 5% while 95% of the posts have been by customers.” 

      Future Plans for The Rameshwaram Cafe 

      As of now, there are currently Rameshwaram Cafe has 4 branches across Bangalore- in J.P Nagar, Indiranagar, Brookfield and the latest one in Rajajinagar. They opened their newest branch in Hyderabad on January 19, 2024.

      When asked about future plans, Divya mentioned that Rameshwaram Cafe is expanding internationally with its first outlet in Dubai. Divya let us know that they plan to expand only in tier 1 cities.

      Divya also seemed positive that within the next five years, you could find a Rameshwaram Cafe branch in North India, across South India and abroad. 

      A Round of “Bengaluru Wants to Know” A Q&A Session

      After making Divya sample three coffees to identify Rameshwaram cafe’s coffee (which she did flawlessly, we must say!) we got into a Q&A session with Bengaluru’s most burning questions. Here’s how they went: 

      1. What’s your favourite dish? 

      Divya: “My favourite dish is ghee idli, pongal and ghee podi masala dosa. And of course, a filter coffee!” 

      Rameshwaram Cafe's Ghee Masala Podi Dosa

      2. How much TAX do you pay?

      Divya: “I’m a very honest taxpayer. Whenever there is a credit in my account, I make sure a provision is made for tax because that isn’t my money. I don’t know if I should be saying this but six to eight months back, we had a GST raid and at that time, we only had two outlets.  They searched the whole day and asked “Madam, what is this? We didn’t find anything?”. I replied saying that I am a CA. If I don’t maintain my books, how can I expect my clients to?”

      3. How could one own a Rameshwaram Cafe franchise?

      Divya: “I finalise a project two years before the launch (of the outlet). So I make franchisees wait one and a half, to two years where I’ll observe their behaviour, how much interest they have, and what’s their patience level. Because this is something that we have built with so much sacrifice and hard work. This is not something that people can just invest in and get returns (immediately). We need someone who is passionate.” 

      4. How do you delegate and divide work with your husband/ business partner? 

      Divya: “We have a very clear understanding within ourselves but we fight a lot as business partners. Many times, we both want different things and we both will have a point. It’s all about justifying each other. I always tell him, don’t think that I’m your wife when I am at work. But of course, we value each other’s opinions and we make a combined decision because we have a very good level of understanding and bonding.”

      5. Lastly, What is the turnover of Rameshwaram Cafe? Is the 4.5 Crore figure true? 

      Divya: “See, I don’t want to lie. At the same time, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s analysis and theories. I’m doing very good business where the numbers are crazy but you have to understand that ours is a volume business. (With regards to claims about profit margins) I say no. None of these businesses can have 70% profit margins. I wish I can do 4.5 crores and 70% profits.  Our business is good but our costs are very high because we use pure ghee and other high-quality raw materials. Our staff costings are also high because they work nearly 24/7. Our rentals are also high because we are located in prime areas. So we have lesser profit margins but we are happy with it. We aren’t so bothered about it. To be honest, I don’t even look at the turnover of the previous day, or what we did last week. I just look at it once a month to make sure everything is fine.” 

      In Conclusion

      After our insightful conversation with founder Divya, we understand how the Iconic Rameshwaram Cafe got its fame.

      Whether you believe it's kismat or hard work is up to you but one thing is for sure: Divya and Raghavendra are two smart individuals who clearly put their heart and soul into their business. 

      Dive deeper into the captivating journey of this renowned Bangalorean eatery by watching our exclusive video interview with Divya, the founder. Don't miss out on this engaging conversation.