In an interview with Franchise India Rohan Arora talks about his business plan, the legalities involved and the menu tweaks that have worked for him.
How did you formulate a business plan for your restaurant?
For a robust biz plan the mission and vision of the business has to be clear. I've formulated and documented our vision - top 5 global brands across categories by 2025- and our values which the entire team adheres to religiously. A correct analysis/assumption of various costs- capital and operating- and potential revenues was done with industry experts. The quality of equipment, rentals, people and raw materials are all a function of the objective which is the corporate mission and hence we've invested in them ahead of the curve.
The most important aspect is to keep learning and refining the plan on a periodic basis. It is also important to have a 3- year roadmap, deliverables and milestones which has become the guiding light.
It has been an exciting journey and we have a real long way to go before we're India's number 1 brand, No 1 employer and the best place to work.
How did you arrive at the concept of Opening Bueno?
Bueno is all about goodness of self, society and the planet. I always wanted to create a truly world class and conscious brand in the food retail space which can rival the junk food theory and can democratise ‘good sustainable and healthy lifestyle’. I also wanted the concept to be emotional- of an everyday affinity, of impact and transformation one which solves the consumer's problem of healthy and global meal- not cooked at home yet delivered at the doorstep in a short time. There was an ever widening gap between the haves and the have nots. That’s how Bueno was born. Bueno is about making an impact and transforming how things are done. It’s about taking a challenging responsibility and the only way to do it is to do it at an unparalleled global scale with far reaching consequences.
Tell us the market analysis you did before starting the new venture?
I did a lot of research; we went through many industry reports and studied key players-location, footfall, conversion, spends, consumers behaviour towards eating out/dine in and that’s how I came to open my restaurant.
Tell us about the funds?
50% funds were self or came from friends while 50% through a collateral free loan from State Bank of India.
Tell us something about the design aspect?
Our brand colours are green, white and orange and they play a big role in outlet design. Ours is a kiosk in a food court and these colours help us to stand out. Moreover, as space is at a premium at the store, design plays a key role in optimum utilisation and for telling the brand story efficiently.
How has been the response of people towards your Restaurant?
In the last three months, we served over 7000 guests with 30 percent being repeat customers. Despite our somewhat higher costs due to our relentless focus on quality and brand building, we could break just even in three months.
What menu tweaks are you working to stand out in the food-driven society?
We've already worked upon the current menu to give it an international appeal with nutrition being our driving force. Our mainstay are our freshly baked whole-wheat breads and flatbreads which form an integral part of the entire food menu all day- breakfast, salads, sandwiches, wraps, taco, pasta, thin crust stone oven pizza and snacks. The beverages and desserts are made of fresh fruits, vegetables, skim milk, probiotic yogurt and antioxidant rich dark chocolate, coffee and freshly brewed tea.
Team effort contributes to a restaurant’s growth. Please elaborate.
Good people make good business. At Bueno, we don't have employees and suppliers. We only have partners. All team members at bueno are equity partners and share profits. Suppliers are not vendors but active participants on business strategy and execution. Our members have extensive experience across the best fine dines across the globe and they have built a capable team who can understand and execute on a day-to-day basis.
How much hand does quality have in a restaurant’s success?
A good business, especially the one that we plan to run, is redundant without quality products and execution. To ensure we deliver the same quality every time, we have formulated stringent sop's for all products and processes in a 'Bueno operations manual' which is a bible for us and all people who are joining in.
How can a restaurateur employ a good chef?
At Bueno, our chef team has a lot of creative freedom to chart their own path keeping the ethos constant and consistent. Efficient people are attracted by creative freedom, responsibility, opportunity to contribute and create, clear direction and ownerships.
What marketing strategy did you employ to make it popular among people? Has technology been a boon or bane for your restaurant?
Word-of-mouth, social media and local activation-standees fliers across cyber city and fliers across nearby localities-were the marketing techniques that we used.
We love tech and its limitless possibilities for internal controls. We also rely on android based apps for mobile swiping of credit/debit cards.
How are you planning to expand in the near future?
We have grand prize plans of expansion but will take a measured approach in the first 2-3 years with expansion in Gurgaon first, then in Delhi and then in Noida. The expansions would give us time to settle our model/processes/communication. The model would be a fair mix of strategically positioned store sales and round-the-clock deliveries through satellite kitchens. After stabilising the shops in NCR, the rollout to other top 10 cities in India should be completed in the subsequent 3 years.
How is pricing done in your restaurant?
Everything at Bueno is customer centric. Pricing at bueno is inclusive of taxes and the guests pay what they see. We refrain from a lot of misleading '99/149/199' price points and conditions apply strategies. Also, pricing is simple and 2- tiered only. All vegetarian and egg salads, sandwiches, wraps, taco, pasta are priced at 150. Non-vegetarian version is 170; all veg pizzas are 300 while non veg ones are 350; all veg/non veg breakfast is 100; all fruit/yogurt based beverages are Rs 100 and everything else on the beverage menu is Rs 80.
Who all are the suppliers in your restaurant? Tell us about the supply chain management process at your restaurant?
We get vegetables and fruits from Azadpur, Dairy and dry store (locally in NCR especially from INA), meat from meat market (Daryaganj), and packaging is done from sugarcane pulp made disposable boxes/plates/dip bowls/salad boxes/spoons and forks.
The suppliers deliver their goods at our base kitchen on a daily basis to ensure freshness. Only dry stores are procured once a month.
The supplies go through primary processing at the base kitchen which is sent to the main kitchen for final processing. The base kitchen prepares all sauces/dips, marination, pickles, bread premixes for use at the front kitchen. The main kitchen at infinity tower, cyber city has a triple decker oven imported from Italy to take care of all our baking/grilling/roasting/steaming needs and managing the production process of nearly everything that goes out of our kitchens to the customers ensures that we have a tight fisted control on the quality of our products. We intend to source directly from farms.