Professionally a chef, Manmeet Sawhney had always had immense love for food. His inclination towards the food and beverage industry made him take a step ahead and he shifted to the management side and worked with Zorawar Kalra for Lite Bite Food. After working with various brands in management and operations, Manmeet joined Tama Brewery & World Kitchen as the vice president.
In Conversation With Manmeet Sawhney Of Tama
Tama is known for its spacious interiors, divided into a raised dining area, private dining area and balcony, and VIP Lounge. This is the biggest USP of the place. Intricately designed replicas of coins of different sizes and shapes from various countries adorn the ceiling and add to the classic charm of the site. The staff comes off as exceptionally professional and pay particular attention to the guests’ concerns.
In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Sawhney talks of his journey in the industry, story of Tama and a lot more.
Story Behind The Name ‘Tama’
Historically copper was called Tama in the Bengali language. It signifies value attached to the metal, thus connecting people and civilizations. Tama recreates that connection. Tama being the best conductor of energy conducts its pure power of dance, music, food, wine and craft beer to the experiential feel of its spaces into the guest. ‘The ambience is all about purity and the decor has everything made of Tama,’ says Sawhney.
Maintaining resources for employees is a significant challenge, due to time and financial constraints, especially in the early stages.
Tama faced numerous challenges in staffing their kitchen. As the staff ultimately help the business grow and retain customers so maintaining and optimizing their efficiency and quality had been a major issue. According to Sawhney reducing staff turnover, training them right, overcoming language barriers, and scheduling them right require major attention. Placing greater emphasis on finding and training staff will help reduce costs over time and will allow providing better customer service and better customer experience overall.
Apart from this, one of the most prominent initial challenges that Tama faced was setting up the interior. Being a 700 sq.mt area, the entire space had to be broken down into smaller, specific areas that ultimately helped generate a sense of curiosity amongst people, says Sawhney.
Setting Up A Brewery – Licenses Needed
Sawhney also shed light on what is needed to open a brewery.
The first fundamental certificate any bar owner needs, according to Sawhney, is a business permit. This grants permission to operate a business. The second is a certificate of occupancy, L10C, and it is an essential license to run a microbrewery. The number of beer produced and sold at Tama, a due amount of it has to be paid to the government.
‘When applying for a bar license, one should be ready with all the significant documentation concerning all the finances and the property the brewery will be in. This is a prerequisite in all states’, says Sawhney.
License for a microbrewery is delivered by the state excise government which allows the company to start their operations. According to Sawhney, if someone aspires to set up a pub in the premise, he needs to apply for a separate bar license, so that it follows the established state regulations of the important state where he wants to establish the brewery.
Importance Of Healthy Food In A Menu
According to Sawhney, moderation is one of the foundations of a healthy diet, and portion control will help you enjoy the foods you love in healthier ways. Serving sizes are more prominent than ever before in restaurants, and many people do not know the proper portion sizes for food, so maintaining the quantity is essential.
‘The owners of Tama have a farmhouse in Faridabad, so all vegetables are directly sourced from there. Organic as well as the fresh ones are sourced from them. Tama focuses a lot on the milk products, so only a particular breed of cows are considered for it. Everything is taken care of at Tama efficiently, as consumers health is our health,’ says Sawhney.
Advertising not only keeps a brand name fresh in the minds of existing customers. But it also brings awareness to new customers. These days customers use the internet to find restaurants, read reviews, view menus, and reserve tables online. Restaurants are increasingly adopting online mediums for marketing their brand.
According to Sawhney, it is vital to generate a buzz. The initial buzz is obviously about the place where it is located. Social media marketing always marks a difference in the restaurant’s growth, and in some cases, it can even directly impact whether it manages to stick around and stay profitable. It’s important to remain dedicated and committed to keeping your social media and online presence up to date.
Technology has always had a substantial, positive impact on the restaurant industry. All restaurants want to deliver a flawless, convenient and enjoyable experience to their customers. Technology offers methods to fasten up processes and improve the customer experience.
‘We use Posist at Tama. The KDS has helped us maintain efficiency in the kitchen. It helps us to work remotely and this reduces both staff effort and the chances of error as the entire process is automated’, says Sawhney.
In conclusion, Sawhney mentions, that Tama does not aim to come up with its outlets in Gurgaon or Delhi because they already are a hub of microbreweries. They want to focus more on outlets in Faridabad and then in Mumbai and Bangalore. Manmeet mentions that they are coming up with a new bakery and cafe venture named Bakesmith in Faridabad soon.