Kabir's personal interests in the hospitality segment led him to the hospitality sector where he spent three years with international award winning restaurants Zuma and Roka. Initially involved with operations, he then shifted to business development, spearheading global expansion and brand development. Kabir is currently the Managing Director of Azure Hospitality which owns and manages brands such as Mamagoto, Dhaba by Claridges, Speedy Chow, Rollmaal, Mamapaati and Celeste Food Services. In the interview, he talks about merging innovation with simplicity to take eating out experience on another level altogether. Here are the excerpts from the interview...
What is experience according to you?
Experience is all about understanding. Understanding the customers and satiate them in a way they want and not what you want is the ladder to success. Restaurant business could generate fruits of sweetness and sourness both at the same time. It entirely depends up on a restaurateur that how do they treat their consumers which led them to taste sweet fruit or the sourly one.
How do you create experience with food?
Food is obviously the foremost part of a restaurant business and it always needs to be the focal point. To create an experience with food a restaurateur must pour a mysterious ingredient which is ‘consistency’. It’ll be likeable to consumer if restaurateurs would keep it as simple as possible. Complicating food with bunch of ingredients is a big NO. Simplicity is more eye candy. And, we at azure hospitality try to merge the taste of food with simplicity to create an enduring experience for the consumer.
What are the new rules of taking ‘fine dining’ to ‘fun dining’?
The definition of ‘fine dining’ is extremely vague as everyone’s assumption to fine dining is different. Earlier, fine dining has always been related to more sophistication. It was predominant as people used to dine out there only on occasions. On the other hand, scene is totally different now as consumers are more exposed, educated and of course there is higher disposable income. When eating out has become a norm then we as restaurateurs try our best to build ‘fine dining’ to ‘fun dining’ experience by creating an atmosphere. And atmosphere is created by making sure that all the touch points have been covered.
How do you blend innovation and experience together as a restaurateur?
Innovation no doubt is the crucial part in restaurant business. There will be no relevancy without innovation. It also drives chefs to be creative. Restaurateur needs to be innovative to build any experience. They must build a contact with consumer to know what he/ she want and then present thing in that way. That is how the food service sector evolves.
What are the new trends evolving in food service sector today?
Simpler food is the new trend undoubtedly. Farm to table thing is on. Consumers today are more inclined towards fresh, organic plus healthy food. How to simplify food is the new thing to learn and simplicity will never run out of food fashion. Also, it’s evolving the food industry and making restaurateur understand what people want from them. At the end, restaurant business is driven by consumption and consumption is driven by consumers which need to be prior. If restaurateur is not capable to give consumer what they want then consumer would not visit them again. Thus, not only food but restaurateurs also have to evolve with time.
What are the things a restaurateur should avoid in restaurant business?
The worst mistake anyone could do is to ignore the customers. Restaurateurs who don’t listen to their customers end up shutting down their restaurant in a year.