In an e-mail conversation with Restaurant India, Suraj Naik, co-owner of Indian Summer, elaborates about his Indian-themed restaurant in Dubai and how he is competing with other Indian restaurants
In the luxurious city with an ultramodern architecture that is Dubai, Indian Summer is like a home away from home. That’s because it strives to make every guest feel special with its varied menu, quality of food served, and personalised service. This restaurant is jointly owned by Suraj Naik and Khushru Mistry.
The 184-seater restaurant has a la carte menu, fast lunch time menu, lunch buffet, and a menu catering to special diet needs. Indian Summer has two outlets in Dubai. The first one is at Jumeirah Beach Road and the other one is on Zabeel Road. This spacious restaurant reflects the Indian theme of art and traditions through its dishes. Apart from the in-house dining service, it also provides services like home delivery, takeaway and outdoor catering facilities.
Indian Summer lays a lot of emphasis on the quality of the ingredients and claims to use only the freshest of the varied products that are individually quality-controlled. One can also enjoy specially prepared dishes from their extensive menu, cooked according to diners’ specific requirements. They offer personalised service with great value for money to their esteemed patrons. One can also book their multi-functional suites for special occasions that can accommodate up to 80 guests for a party celebration. These too offer a wide range of facilities, which can also be tailored to customers’ requirements. There is ample car parking too, including for those with different physical needs, and the management also arranges for mini buses and taxis. Excerpts from the interview:
What is the concept behind your restaurant?
Our concept is contemporary authentic Indian cuisine, predominantly North Indian, with a variety of kebabs, curries, biryanis and desserts. Our menu also offers an elaborate Indo-Chinese menu consisting of signature soups, starters, mains, sizzlers and desserts.
How have you designed your menu? How often do you change or make some extensions to your menu?
The menu has been designed keeping in mind the region and the customer preferences as well as the sales mix. We offer a rotating chef’s special menu which changes every three weeks.
How have been the footfalls? Is it a first choice for Indians?
In countries like the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, we predominantly cater to local patronage with a sales mix ratio that comprises 80% locals except for a particular location in the city at Ollaya which has a large Indian audience and our customer mix is equal at 50-50. Similarly, in Dubai certain locations have a majority of Arabs and locals while areas like Zabeel Karama have a predominant Indian footfall.
How do you compete with other Indian restaurants in Dubai?
We let our quality, variety, ambience and level of service speak for itself. Of course there is no shortage of Indian restaurants here, each trying to be unique in terms of offering and value perception. We are a contemporary concept offering authentic food at good value with excellent ambience.
What is the road ahead? Any expansion plans in the offing?
We would like to grow in multiple units and collaborate with likeminded and passionate partners who can provide local support with new territories while understanding the market conditions and trends to scale down the models to about 60 cover units catering to dine-in, carry-out, home delivery and outdoor catering.