“Keep that ‘wow’ factor coming in... Create an impression in consumers’ minds with small things.”
~Sagar Daryani, Co-founder of Wow! Momos
The restaurant business involves a high-risk proposition. If your restaurant survives in the first year, chances are it will grow but what if it doesn’t? As statistical data indicates, up to 60% of businesses fail in the first year itself. Keep aside the growth plan, there are a variety of challenges that a restaurateur, whether big or small, faces once his or her restaurant is open. Experts from the restaurant industry Celebrity Chef and Consultant Shaun Kenworthy, Vice Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Hospitality Pradeep Lal Mehta, Executive Chef at ITC Sonar Vijay Malhotra, Haldiram & Sons Bhujiawala ltd Aman Agarwal, Co-founder & CEO of Wow! Momo Sagar Daryani discussed the challenges that restaurant industry faces today at Restaurant India Awards 2018, East India Edition.
"Small formats will drive the F&B industry in upcoming years."
~Celebrity Chef and Consultant Shaun Kenworthy
Here are four challenges that every restaurant encounters along with the strategies to combat the issues.
As a brand in the food and beverage industry, reinvent yourself with time, with products and with the systems. Just like Swiggy and Zomato did it through their food delivery services, understand the need and give consumers what they want.
Survival Tip: “To reinvent, keep the main products on the menu which are really well. Don’t change your champion products,” says Sagar Daryani, Co-founder of Wow! Momo Foods Pvt. Ltd.
It is well-known within the industry that people are easily attracted to jobs that offer more remuneration and perks and such movements can be sudden and swift. As such, manpower is by far the largest challenge for anyone in the food and beverage sector.
Survival Tip: Retain your staff! Executive Chef at ITC Sonar, Vijay Malhotra, says, Executive Chef at ITC Sonar, Vijay Malhotra says, “We keep our staff engaged.” The restaurateurs should make their staff believe they are being heard, and their ideas are being taken. “Doesn’t matter if the idea is not a sure-shot-hit the first time, it can be further built upon,” says Chef Vijay. Once the staffers are given the recognition they deserve, they will keep contributing.
If you are running your business on a particular scale, it is okay. Once you decide to scale it up, your restaurant business will be facing challenges in budgeting, maintaining quality and keeping up with the pace.
Vice Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Hospitality, Pradeep Lal Mehta says, “Restaurants will do well if they are consistent on food quality, and will innovate regularly, they will make money.” The huge challenge for them is the rentals, the power cost and alcohol licenses.
Survival Tip: One should focus on expanding through the franchise model. But be sure the franchisee has the knack of playing the right game. “If he is just an investor and gives someone else the responsibility to run the restaurant business, the model will collapse,” says Mehta. Grow cautiously – that is the watchword.
Restaurant innovation and renovation run parallel.
Survival Tip: From making desserts and savouries, Haldirams and Sons Bhujiawala is now focussing on the restaurant business too. Aman Agarwal, Haldirams and Sons Bhujiawala Ltd, says, “The business which my grandfather started years ago is being continued by the eighth generation. Over these years, renovation has been a major part of the process of growth. The renovation is something you cannot ignore in a restaurant business, but how do you do it right? Firstly, know how to cope up with your customers, at present and in the future. And secondly, focus on the renovation of ambience, food menu and service.”
Acclaimed Fashion Designer and entrepreneur Agnimitra Paul (right), Begum Manzilat Fatima (middle) with Celebrity Chef Shaun Kenworthy (left).
Mrs India Universe Sangeeta Singh (left) with Preetima Bhardwaj, CEO Franchise India Holdings Ltd.
Acclaimed Fashion Designer and entrepreneur Agnimitra Paul, Begum Manzilat Fatima (from the Royal Family of Awadh) and Mrs India Universe Sangeeta Singh were the chief guests for the evening and presented the awards to the winners at the Restaurant India Summit Awards 2018, East India Edition, at Altair Hotel.