Please share your entrepreneurial journey and what led to the inception of your brand?
It has been 15 years, since I opened lanterns and has indeed been a long journey. I do remember that time of transformation from a foodie into a passionate chef. But after lanterns, there was no looking back for me. Lanterns was named by our consultant. The restaurant started when I was 18 year old.
How many stores are there within your brand and what is the average store size?
Presently, we have two stores and 2500 carpet area is minimum requirement.
What are the challenges in growing your business– maintaining standards, brand integrity, customer experience etc and how have you met these challenges?
Well, the most important thing for any restaurant these days would be their HR; staff holds a key for a successful restaurant. We have also used technology to a certain level, where we can monitor customer experience and try to use it to improve our services. For instance, one such is waiter call button- Gone are those days when you needed to call or raise your hand for your needs.
Can you tell us more about your business operations from the standpoint of loyalty Program, technology (Hardware & software), raw material sourcing and talent recruitment & training?
We have a loyalty program in place for last four years. I think customer engagement is the most important thing, if you cannot connect with consumers, you cannot generate increased footfall. We have our apps, website with online ordering and reservations, also tablets for waiters to take orders, free wi-fi for customers, waiter call button on every table and many more such things for building a strong CRM.
Do you have a growth targets for the next few years and can you reveal any strategy for how you intend to achieve this?
Every year, we see a growth of minimum 15 per cent excluding the price increase in menu. According to me, give your customer value for money and you would never look back.
Where would you like to see your brand in the next 5 years?
I hope to open few more outlets, but with a better management system in place.
What is your expansion plans?
In spite of rentals in Delhi being pretty high and survivability becoming little difficult for restaurants, we are still looking at a lot of projects with a controlled cost structure and to open small outlets rather than opening giant size restaurants.