Swaminathan B (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Leading Hospitality leader in Rajasthan, Innovating Hospitality, which involves in various segments of hospitality services including restaurants, consulting, specialty catering, is all set to expand their two brand concepts ‘Kabab Mistri’ and Laapi Choka across India. Vimal Dhar, the culinary architect, behind the organization said this in an exclusive chat with ChefBharath.com.
Current Market Scenario:
Speaking on the current market scenario, he said, “COVID pandemic was a huge impact for every hotelier and we are no exception. While we had multiple restaurants, we had to shut down various of our outlets during these challenging times.” But those tough times will not impact him. “When I started my first outlet in 2011, we literally had nothing and we were able to grow this much in this past decade. Such hard waters would test our times”, Dhar added. He along with his wife Sangeeta Dhar runs Udaipuri, a leading vegetarian restaurant in Udaipur. Speaking on the current trends, he said, “We see multiple trends happening- As a chef from the old school of thought, I was always reluctant to opt for a packaged/ready-to-cook food. However, with time, we have to change”, he said.
Vimal notices a sea change in the way marriage functions are also happening. While he notices the number of guests invited for the marriages is shrinking to only closest circles, he also marks that the food cost remains the same as that of a fat Indian wedding. “Udaipur being a place for a destination wedding, we are noticing that from the past one year. Also, other trends I notice is the raise in the home chefs and home bakers.” According to him, the way consumption of food by the people had increased. Not just in the change of menu and ingredients, but also in the change of mindset.
Importance of Rajasthan Food:
Vimal has great concerns about the way Rajasthan Food is branded and identified. “Rajasthan is one of the greatest states in India with high historical value. Food is also a part of that. However, it is disheartening to see that we are identified and referred to as ‘Dal Bati Churma’. There are many lost and forgotten dishes which are not just healthy but tasty too. “With ‘Lapi Chokka’ we would like to market the actual Rajasthani food across India and the globe. We had done deep research on the ancient cuisines and would be serving those foods across India which were known only by Rajasthanis”, he said. He also says that the curriculums in the culinary schools are very old and need to be updated with this kind of recipe for modern trends.
The Franchise model:
Innovative food is keen on exploring the franchise model for the outlets. Some of the key regions he is looking for franchise partners in India are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra, and pockets of South India. Some of the value additions being a part of their franchise are
Innovative hospitality provides end-to-end support from the planning to implementation
- Their products fit into any category- inside the star hotel, kiosks, multi-cuisine restaurant, or specialty dining.
- The chefs will be hand-picked by the leadership team of innovative hospitality which has chefs predominantly.
- The recruited chefs will be given 15 days of training and they have technically advanced monthly reporting systems.
Other plans ahead:
The chef-couple had recently launched a concept called ‘AkshaTej’ that will do end-to-end consulting for any size of the hotel business. On a concluding note, speaking on the other expansion plans, he said, “We are looking for entrepreneurs with passion for the business and not just an investor. At the end of the day, it is our brand and we want people who will help us in mutual growth.”