Restaurants in India have seen a paradigm shift in the last 15 years as a lot of people approach the business and a lot of people approach what they think is trending. It is a firm belief that it is the fundamental in food business that rides you through. But seeing that how noisy the market is how you continue being one remains an unsolved maths. Chef Manu Chandra who has created some of the top most brands in the country like Fatty Bao and Monkey Bar which remain a trendsetter in their genre shares his view on these parameters:
Remember Training, We are full of Skilled Forces: One of the challenges that restaurant business faces today is the skilled manpower. Given the fact that India is one of the most populous countries in the world...the question always rises why we are always short of the skills. “We are not really short on skills but we are short on training,” shares Chandra who noticed that people have very long resume but very less practical experience on how food should work.
Learn from Failures if you want to Grow: Everyone in the industry loves to be on the gravy train and the truck that says this will be the next big thing. But nobody is sure what will work for them and lands into the trouble. Failure of course is the best teacher and some of the top entrepreneurs in the industry have learnt from these failures. “My most popular brand Fatty Bao which is an Asian Gastro Pub is born out of the failure which was so catastrophic that I almost thought of quitting the business at a particular point of time,” remembers Chandra who rebranded the brand, made it more colourful, simplified the product and made it successful which was beyond his wildest imagination.
Concentrate on what you are doing: Be Focus in What you are doing and not swayed by the gimmickry over the points of certain style of cooking. That’s really not the USP of a restaurant and that can’t be how you really going to try the consumers over and over again over a period of time. Earlier, the restaurants used to sign leases for 9 years and now they are happy signing it for 5 years because the dynamics have changed.
Be Adaptable, Success will follow you: The idea is not to get your money back quickly and the import aspect for tomorrow’s restaurant but to look at restaurant business as an entity. It can’t be a singular delivery module. It needs to be able to adapt itself to multiple things. And, we have seen many restaurant concepts that are already following these tricks. They can be co-working spaces, performance venues and also a small cafe at the restaurant as coffee has become huge and restaurants have started adopting it. It’s not about good food; it’s about so much more. Diversification within the space is very important.
Keeping yourself relevant: Many a times restaurant owners and chefs are being questioned on how do they keep themselves constantly relevant. The answer really is keep reinventing yourself and the brand. “Five years ago when we opened our first mid market brand we opened it in a garage and we had no expectation from it. Surprisingly, we were the highest grossing restaurant per sqft for two years,” smiles chef Chandra as he has created a relevant restaurant brand, qualitative product at the right time.
Hence, there are many business aspects that needs to be taken care of these are few must haves to be on the top of the game.