Anisha Maker always had immense love for food and has always been very fond of cooking since her childhood. Coming from a family associated with the F&B sector this inclination of hers kept on growing. Therefore she automatically decided to make a career out of the F&B space. In 2008, Anisha was selected by the Taj Group for the prestigious “Taj Management Training Programme.” After being trained by some of the most talented domestic and foreign chefs for two years, Anisha was honored with the position of the head chef at KEFI.
In 2012, Anisha along with her father and husband decided to open Garage Inc – American Diner, which is housed in Hauz Khas Village. Garage Inc has been doing great business ever since it opened, as Chef Anisha along with her husband pays the utmost attention to the diners by being present at the restaurant every day.
In Conversation With Anisha Maker Of Garage Inc
Garage Inc is a real pub and not just a bar as the architecture and design are still true to the past. A garage is seen to be part of the home, and after the personal and professional space, Garage Inc calls itself as the third stage of life. In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times Anisha talks about her brand and the challenges she has faced while managing the restaurant and a lot more.
Along with all the excitement comes the blunt reality of managing the finances. The fact is that opening a restaurant is a costly venture. Everyone wants their restaurant to stand out, and have that “wow” factor when customers walk through the door, which requires a significant investment.
According to Maker, new restaurant owners often undervalue the initial capital required to open and run a new restaurant.
Most new restaurants do not turn in profits for several months, even years, after opening. Well rooted restaurant owners can also suffer financially, especially during recessions when they have fewer customers.
Garage Inc is a family run unit, so there is no investor in the picture.‘Budgeting was troublesome for us. We applied a lot of do-it-yourself technique back in 2010. I have done the graffiti in the washroom, the burning of the wood in the ceiling. To curb the budget we did a lot of things on our own to avoid outside expenses. So, smart analysis and segregation of the budget is of utmost importance,’ says Maker.
Choosing The Right Supplier
Vendors are the backbone of any restaurant. It is imperative to maintain the right balance between the restaurant and the supplier. Selecting the right suppliers for a business is vital to ensure that one can deliver the products and services on time, at the right price, and in compliance with the quality standards.
Setting standard criteria is crucial. According to Maker, establishing the requirements in advance will enable you to evaluate potential suppliers on each of the listed items and ensure that you don’t overlook any crucial requirements.
Even the most stable vendor can periodically slip up. Make sure they have a direct unity with your brand and conduct regular performance reviews. This will help you keep tabs on their work and make sure they’re fulfilling their end of the accord.
Service Is Key
Service is critical since your restaurant staff is someone who can make or break a brand. According to Maker, transparent communication from the moment new hiring starts is essential to keep them for a longer duration. By thoroughly explaining job expectations and policies, as well as walking them through some routine tasks, can help ease the new-hire and also ensure the work-flow of new team members.
‘Before hiring we go through a lot of screening process to make sure that there are no glitches later. In our Delhi outlet, we have a lot of people in our team, who have been there with us since inception. It is essential to maintain a human touch with the team, cultivating a quality bond is what makes them reciprocate and give the best output possible’, says Maker.
According to Maker, most restaurant operators and chefs are aware of how to engineer and optimize a menu; however, surprisingly few put the concept into practice. Before designing the list, it is critical to understand the palette; especially the Indian palette.
It is vital to creating separate sets within the menu. One should consist of general everyday things like ‘daal’ (presented uniquely), as it attracts the Indian customers. And others can contain some experimental dishes There should also be some items on the menu that may not be your star seller, but they increase the value of the menu like lobsters, prawns prepared in an unusual manner, etc.
The cuisine that Garage Inc offers are Chinese and Pub Grub. Indulging the American flavors, Garage Inc also offers great burgers such as Garage Inc’s Grease Burger, the Giant NYC Burger, and the OMG Burger, which are some of the all-time classics. They also wish to introduce authentic Delhi flavors like Indian grills and innovative kebabs.
Everyone is getting tech-savvy these days, and technology plays a prominent role in the F&B space today. According to Maker, the most significant advancement is the POS system. It simplifies communications between the kitchen and the wait staff and helps track everything, from food usage to the most popular menu items.
‘We use POSist at the Garage Inc and it has made our lives very simple. It has helped us stay up to date with all the details such as the sales that have been made during a day in the restaurant even when I am not present there. Along with the daily operations of running a restaurant, POSist has helped me organize profit and loss statement and sales tax with ease,’ says Maker.
Maker concludes by saying that the motive of Garage Inc is to continuously build a brand, and make people familiar with the American diner flavors.