Varun Puri has always endeavoured to not take shortcuts and keep re-inventing himself, pushing himself a little more extra to bring the smile on customer’s face. Viva Hospitality has till date come up with many unique concepts – including Molecule, Lights Camera Action, their vegetarian paradise called Imly, the latwst offering being the 'Duty Free'. With his strong sense of food and his fusionistic vision, Puri is all set to revolutionise the restaurant business in India.
In conversation with Restaurant India, Varun Puri, Founder, Viva Hospitality talks about the other side of the industy and how he has managed to evolve amidst all of it.
How has been your experience in the F& B Industry?
Food & Beverages have always been challenging. New restaurants and cutting edge concepts doing innovative stuff is definitely the need of the hour for the industry. Anything which puts you on a different scale and beyond your competition will definitely have its volume and share of success. As far as current situation is concerned, our industry is going through a rough patch. With GST hitting the market, it has been an emotional moment for all the restaurateurs with a 20% setback in the business.
How did Imly happen to you?
Imly was my first restaurant concept. I always wanted to do something for the masses by presenting a product to the country which brings generation together. The name itself signifies a ‘Chatpata’ Stopover. We made a fancy looking conceptualized restaurant across Delhi NCR. All Imly’s have a distinctive identities and it’s not just a meal at Imly’s but an experience when you eat out.
What are the challenges restaurant startups undergo initially? How to overcome those hurdles?
In my opinion, retaining your resources is the biggest challenge, as some of the employers do not belong to a professional background. Attrition is very high in the industry. All successful restaurant owners know the importance of hiring and training the right employees. Yet the common problem exists as many restaurants hire the wrong people and have a high turnover rate. An incompetent staff can also irreparably damage your current and future customer base.
When alcohol is concerned, where are we lacking behind?
It is time that we give some amount of freedom and change the decaying old books. The drinking age should be given due importance to. We need to revisit laws that has been imposed by the government. We wish the system becomes more transparent. The industry is giving out so much of revenue; measure should be taken to promote new restaurants.There should be a single window concept to make it easier for a new entrance in the business.