What’s the secret sauce? Check out the ABC of running a restaurant successfully

A group of restaurateurs and chefs got together at an event in Bengaluru recently to discuss the "Secret Sauce" behind opening and maintaining a profitable restaurant

With close to 40,000 restaurants holding a market value of a whopping Rs 20,000 crore, eating out has become a way of life in the city of Bengaluru. On one hand, more and more people are expressing their interest to move into this business and on the other hand, several eateries and cafés have been closing down after a few years of operation.

Panel discussion with Chef Nimish Bhatia, Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Naren Thimmaiah, Saby Gorai and Suresh Hinduja

In order to tackle this problem, a group of restaurant owners and experts in the Food and Beverage industry organised an event called 'Secret Sauce' at The Taj, MG Road, Bengaluru recently.

The purpose of putting together a platform like this was to help struggling restaurateurs and provide guidance to aspiring newbies who want to step into the space. We invited many successful chefs and veterans from the industry to share their insights and experiences,” says Raunak Kundu, Founder, Bangalore Foodies Club.

Having attended the event, YS Weekender brings to you some of the key aspects of putting up a restaurant ...

Procuring licences

Raunak Kundu, Founder Bangalore Foodies Club delivers the keynote address 

Getting the right licences is imperative to open a restaurant. Licences take a considerable amount of time to get processed and hence, experts are of the opinion that they need to be initiated as early as possible.

Addressing the gathering, Satish Kumar, Director, MCORP and Mistry Consultants said, “A whole host of licences and legal formalities are required to start a restaurant , right from Food Safety and Standards Authority Licence (FSSAI), Liquor licence, Health or Trade licence, Music licence, No Objection Certificate from Fire Environment clearance and so on.”

Prioritising design

The design elements of a restaurant must convey the essence of a place and the story behind it

We have all had experiences of walking into different kinds of restaurants and cafes - right from those with quirky and loud settings to the more royal and poised decor of some exclusive eateries. The design elements of a restaurant, not only convey the essence of a place but also, the story behind it.

For instance, Permit Room, a lounge and restaurant in Richmond Town, Bengaluru, references southern and western eateries that used to serve alcohol to those with a permit. “Every piece of the décor of this restaurant tells a story. The chairs, the cushions, the wallpaper, the paintings and the doors - everything has a narrative,” said a spokesperson from one of the teams at the event.

Compiling the menu

The menu must offer a balance of unique dishes

Coming up with a menu that offers a balance of unique dishes and old favourites is quite challenging, especially with so many different cuisines and gastronomical delights to choose from.

Brand guru Harish Bijoor mesmerises the audience with his keynote speech 

Celebrity chefs like Abhijit Saha, Saby Gorai, Nimish Bhatia and Naren Thimmaiah delivered a few valuable tips on the topic. “A menu represents the identity of a restaurant. If fewer items are listed, there is more scope for specialisation. Most importantly, menus need to be designed as per the tastes of the customers,” said Abhijit Saha, Founding director and chef, Avant Garde Hospitality.


Billing Solutions and payment integration

A good software security architecture is significant to ensure billing and payment is a smooth process. The system has to be excellent so that multiple payment options are available to the customers, linking payments to loyalty schemes and provision for online ordering are taken into account. When all of this is well-planned and laid out, the chances of any hiccups will be minimal.


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