Meet the team behind the cloud kitchen that cooks 10 distinctive culinary offerings
The restaurant industry in India was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and has had to reinvent itself to survive. Those who adopted new-age practices and innovative ideas have not just survived but also thrived. A good example of this is Vdeliver.online, a unilateral cloud kitchen based in Gurugram, that offers numerous cuisines for home delivery under one roof.
Founded by Bhupender Nath of Dubai-based Passion F&B group, with Chef Sahil Singh as Culinary Head,offers tasty fare from ten brands, each one helmed by a renowned and experienced chef in the field.
Their food concepts include Westside Story serving Italian, Origami offering progressive pan-Asian, Sehar Saanjh for Indian fine-dining, the Salt n Sugar in-house bakery, Dragon Dray for modern Chinese, Biryani Walk dedicated to India’s favourite rice dish, Pizza Studio to pizzas, Honest Buns to burgers, Roll Sholl to rolls, and Soya Yum exclusively to dishes made with soya. With so much on offer in one place, Vdeliver.online has witnessed a huge surge in popularity since its launch last year.
“Be it a house party or a cosy movie night, we make it special by providing the perfect meal, delivered home. Through the use of latest technologies, we have made the process of connecting with us very convenient. We are available on social media as @vdeliver.online, have our own app, and also partner with Zomato and Swiggy,” shares Chef Sahil.
Bhupender Nath, Founder and Managing Director, VDeliver.online
Bhupender Nath, Founder and Managing Director, and Chef Sahil Singh, the Culinary Head, joined YSWeekender for a candid chat on their fresh concept and how it has been received so far.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
YS Weekender (YSW): Tell us about your culinary journey till now.
Bhupender Nath (BN): I began my professional journey from the city of Patna over three decades ago. My family is involved in the business of running one of the most prominent hotels in our ancestral hometown, which means I grew up listening to countless discussions on food. To improve my professional prospects, I moved abroad in the early 1990s at the young age of 21 and settled in Nigeria. Over the years, I have created one of the most successful fisheries in Africa and am counted amongst the leading traders in that industry.
I also had a desire to elevate Indian cuisine and hospitality while bringing it onto the global culinary stage. This led me to establish Passion F&B, which introduced a range of award-winning Indian food and beverage concepts to a discerning global audience. Our popular brands include Trèsind in Dubai and Mumbai, Carnival by Trèsind, A Cappella, and Trèsind Studio, all three of which are based exclusively in Dubai. I believe I have fulfilled my vision of offering the finest hospitality to guests with these concepts. My passion project, Passion F&B, is dedicated to my father.
Chef Sahil Singh (SS): I have over 14 years of experience working in some of the finest hotels and restaurants in India. I’m originally from Ambala and I’ve inherited a creative inquisitiveness from my father, who was also a Chef, and leadership qualities from my mother, who was a successful entrepreneur. When I lost my father at a young age, I took it as a call to surge ahead in life. I was trained under the team at Old World Hospitality and Wasabi at the Taj Mahal Delhi, and since then, I have curated a few of Delhi’s most popular restaurant concepts like Shanghai Club, Tian, Pa Pa Ya, Bo Tai and TYGR, to name a few.
After the lockdown, I was influenced by the current trends in the F&B sector. I decided to bring together ten distinctive gourmet delivery concepts, to be operated from one kitchen, and that is how Vdeliver.online began. Now, our team is 28 people strong and growing.
TPS - The Pizza Studio
YSW: What was your vision for Vdeliver.online?
SS: After the pandemic, I was struggling with nothing in hand, and I was most grateful to Bhupender Nath, who agreed to launch Vdeliver.online last year. Initially, I had planned to open four brands but then we decided to just go all out. The concept was very exciting – I wanted to create a one-stop-shop where people don't feel the need to go anywhere else. Whatever mood or craving any member of the family may have, we offer it to them.
BN: We realised that in 2020, most people were bored of eating home-cooked food daily, because it was forced on us with restaurants and hotels closed. Fine dining outlets and chefs in the city were coming up with creative ways to reach patrons at home, through delicious feasts, personal riders and safe cutlery with sanitisers and temperature checks in place. Inspired by this, we decided to offer many options for fine dining at home, with all safety measures in place.
YSW: How has the concept of your cloud kitchen been received so far?
SS: It has been received very well. We are growing organically, simply through word of mouth, with almost 80 percent of people becoming regulars in just a few months. People are really enjoying the food. This is evident from the fact that we have recorded two to three downloads per day on our app since its launch last month.
We are trying to spread the word about the app and encouraging our customers to use it and order from us directly, to save money and time. All our restaurant brands have been received well, and are equally popular, with an evenly distributed loyalty base. We have noticed that on weekdays, the cheaper brands perform better and during weekends, people prefer ordering from luxury brands.
Chef Sahil Singh
YSW: How did you scale the challenges of the pandemic?
SS: Honestly, it was the challenges of the pandemic that spurred us on to begin this kitchen. Though the future seems uncertain for restaurants and hotels, we believe we have a sustainable model with Vdeliver.online.
BN: The entire motive of our industry is to keep customers happy. For this, we must keep up with new trends, accept and implement the changes around us, and be visible to our competition. Consumer behaviour changed rapidly after COVID-19, and all businesses had to cater to changing consumer expectations.
These days, with so much choice, it is common for people to be confused about where to order from and what to eat. Sometimes they may want an Italian meal, but their kids may desire burgers or pizzas. We figured that Vdeliver.online is the answer to everyone’s needs. Each of our brands is cuisine-specific and designed to cater to different food choices. We aim to provide unique experiences with quality food dishes like a fine dining experience, but from the comfort of one’s home and in the company of loved ones.
YSW: When people begin venturing out to restaurants again, do you feel cloud kitchens or delivery-only models will be adversely affected?
BN: People do want to go out these days, but we all know it's not safe outside and we have no idea when this situation will end. I believe that even if the situation returns to normalcy, cloud kitchens will not be affected. Everyone is getting used to the concept of ordering in and eating at home with their family and friends in their comfort zone.
YSW: What’s next on the cards for Vdeliver.online? Any plans for expansion?
BN: We are planning to open another cloud kitchen in Delhi soon. I see great potential in the surrounding markets and in the brand. Expansion is challenging, especially in these uncertain times, but it can also be immensely rewarding.