Who doesn’t like Pizza? Especially if it is hand crafted thin crust Italian Pizza baked in traditional brick oven. The history of Pizza begins in antiquity and it has undergone various experiments in previous 3 centuries around the globe.
Although Bangalore got introduced to wood fired pizza concept little late but it is catching up very fast with global cities in terms of quality and variety served just right with various pizzeria outlets mushroomed up in recent past.
Vikrant Singh (IHM Bangalore graduate 2003) pursued entry level operations jobs in restaurants & cafes before landing in Sales & Marketing department of 5* hotels in 2004 and climbed the ladder to become Director of Sales & Marketing at a young age of 30 years in 2010 to serve top notch hotels like The Paul Bangalore, Oakwood Premier Prestige Bangalore and Mövenpick Hotel & Spa Bangalore. In early 2018, he decided to pursue his dream to own an Italian Restaurant Risalo Pizzeria named after his beloved grandmother Late Smt. Risalo Devi.
Scratch to Success-
Beginning was not easy for this middle class first generation entrepreneur who never had a pizza till the age of 24. Lack of investment, absence of mentorship, limited resources and complicated licensing procedures were initial hurdles till he found a deserted house in AECS Layout with help of a local friend. Help poured in from friends and acquaintances in form of used oven, furniture, utensils, artwork & creative designs and moral support to light up the oven fire on 10th March 2018.
Quality & USP-
Being an early entrant to wood fired pizza market in locality was an advantage in introducing the carefully crafted menu ranging from Classic Margherita to Italian Pepperoni, Penne Arrabbiata to Salmone Alfredo, Panna Cotta to Tiramisu, and within a span of 4 months Risalo Pizzeria became popular in neighborhood households. Kids played a key role in bringing families to pizzeria for live pizza making sessions. Online delivery partners fulfilled the desire of those lazy foodies who resist visiting eateries and love to enjoy restaurant food in the comfort of home. Initial 8 months were financially testing times and outlet struggled to break even but Vikrant was in no mood to compromise on quality to save cost. He continued using top quality cheese, imported mushrooms, meat and other ingredients without worrying about profits in initial phase. In his words - "No Marketing Can Compete With Quality". Risalo Pizzeria's USP is that they home deliver wood fired thin crust Italian Pizza which are not commonly available on home delivery and connoisseurs need to visit big restaurants and microbreweries to relish this hand crafted dish.
Vikrant’s contacts in hotel industry helped Risalo Pizzeria in shifting the first outlet to a bigger and better place in a nearby hotel after 9 months wherein guests can visit to savor same quality in a better ambience. Risalo Pizzeria gained a good reputation and money (which is a by-product of success) started flowing in.
After saving money from first outlet, he launched a very cozy yet contemporary outlet with live brick oven at Doddanekundi, again within a hotel premises on 12th November 2019. In the meanwhile, a franchise of Risalo Pizzeria was also sold to a passionate youngster based in Noida and another one is in pipeline slated to be operational from April 2020 in Bangalore. Risalo Pizzeria has clicked more than 70,000 orders till date.
Empowering the Team-
Risalo Pizzeria chose team members hailing mainly from tribal and rural areas to empower the less privileged citizens and bring in a positive change to their lives. Team has stayed motivated throughout the journey so far and Vikrant recollects a conversation with one of the Chef who was going out on holiday to his home town asking for permission to carry his chef coat, raw pasta and some Parmesan cheese along with him to his village so that he can cook delicious pasta for village friends and feel proud of becoming a Chef. Vikrant strongly believes that if we take care of our team, they will take care of guests. Every team member gets opportunity to learn and implement any new thing which can translate into product enhancement and guest happiness.
Vikrant has very aggressive yet realistic targets to light up the oven fire of Risalo PizzeriaTM at 10 more locations of Bangalore by 2021 before foraying into other cities like Goa, Delhi and Chandigarh. His selection process for employees, potential franchise and investors is very simple and clear - they need to have a passion for Italian cuisine and ambition to grow in life and money will come naturally. With time, Risalo Pizzeria will also collaborate with NGOs and Culinary Course Institutes for Pizza Making Courses.
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