Out Of The Blue, Mumbai, recently, launched a new menu in the most unique way. The founder of Out Of The Blue Rahul Bajaj, along with Chef Vivek Swamy, came up with the idea of ‘The Blue Launch Pad’ to bring together six startups who are making a mark in the food and beverage industry with their innovations.
Rahul Bajaj and Chef Swamy consciously decided to incorporate the products and ingredients created by these startups to launch their new menu, which is in line with S.L.O. (Sustainable, Local and Organic), and 75% of the menu is dedicated to this very same initiative.
In an interview with Restaurant India, Director and conceptualizer at Out Of the Blue restaurant in Mumbai, Rahul Bajaj tells how he intends to connect the clients and consumers in the food and beverage industry.
Being an Entrepreneur in the Restaurant Industry
The most of important thing about being a businessman is, to taste failure, which I have. I had started Café Bean Garu, which served south Indian fusion cuisines, first of its kind in Phoenix market city Kurla. We served dishes like pesto cheese dosa, mushroom and chilli dosa, Nutella dosa, beetroot sambar. Then I went to Vishakapatnam to help them launch the fusion Indian restaurant called Dusk and then helped in conceptualizing the hotel, Le Sutra based on the 3 Gunas (which are Rajas, Tamas, Satvik) and the lift is made of the seven chakras of the Kundalini rising. And then came back to buy the shares from my father at Out Of The Blue.
Idea behind S.L.O (Sustainable, local, Organic) Initiative
My idea was basically going back to our roots, using sattu atta, bajra, jawar and nachni to name a few. Growing organic produce is much lighter on your body and is much more healthy because they have natural pesticides like lime water, water mixed with neem leaves, etc. Today, the most important thing is organic seed conservation. We wanted people to eat and appreciate the old knowledge that we had.
The Blue Launch Pad – An Opportunity to Connect With Consumers and Clients
I see The Blue Launch Pad as an opportunity to connect with clients and consumers from the food and beverage industry. The idea is to get like-minded people and amalgamating them together so that they can help each other by working together as their end goal is mutual as a whole.
The Road to Profitability for Out of The Blue
Any restaurant of our size will take 3 and a half to 4 years to break even. We are slowly growing and we look forward to another Out of the Blue at the end of the year. Out Of The Blue has, even, started its own little Deli based on the mantra of #S.L.O, called Deli By The Blue.
Footfall at Out Of The Blue
As the management contract was given away for a year and a half, the footfall from 8,000 people a month, is approximately less than half now. And now we are back to approximately six and a half thousand people a month.
Biggest Mistakes Post Restaurant’s Launch
When the management had changed about a year and a half ago, I became a part of the Out Of The Blue team, they had removed sizzlers and fondue from the menu and created a very beautiful menu, but the people were not able to relate to it.
We have now introduced fondue and sizzlers again. This time with a new variety of gourmet fondue and for sizzlers we went back to basic ingredients like jawar, bajra, etc. Because every human being relates to the food they understand.
Marketing Strategies to Stay Ahead of the Competitors
Out of The Blue was written in the Cornell book of practices, where we used a Panchayat form of system and everyone had a chance of putting forth their idea, to solve issues or new strategies. Our first customers were the staff itself.
There are a lot of things in the pipeline, keep your eyes open.