Praveesh Govindan is a mechanical engineer by profession. He also worked as the Project Manager at the Headquarters of Coca Cola during 2011. While working at Coca Cola, he visited Brazil several times. Praveesh spent one year in Brazil and that is how he came up with the thought of starting a Brazilian restaurant.
Boteco, founded in March 2016, was started by Praveesh and his partner cum Executive Chef, Guto Souza and also, his wife Pooja Srinivasan. Boteco is a gorgeous restaurant serving a cuisine less known and even lesser seen in India. Boteco is the first Brazilian restaurant in India. Boteco has won several awards in the previous years, the latest one being Best Brazilian Restaurant In Casual Dining by Times Food Awards, 2019.
In Conversation With Praveesh Govindan of Boteco
In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Praveesh Govindan talks of his journey in the industry, the story behind Boteco, challenges faced while operating a restaurant, marketing techniques and a lot more.
Brazilian cuisine primarily consists of meat. Restaurants serving such type of cuisine face certain challenges which might not be common to the restaurants serving regular cuisines. Not everyone likes meat, also acquiring meat and popularising it among the localities can pose as a major challenge.
Boteco is a Brazilian cuisine restaurant, which relies heavily on meat. According to Govindan, one of the biggest operational challenges is acquiring the raw material, as it is challenging to procure and import the right quality of meat. Govindan feels fortunate to have found good vendors and suppliers who supply good meat.
Another issue faced is staff retention. While all companies have some degree of employee loss, the need to continually fill the same job slots can be a financial catastrophe.
According to Govindan, when you put great emphasis on your staff, you’ll reduce costs over time and enhance your diners’ customer service experience. Pay extra attention to finding the perfect employees and don’t settle for unskilled personnel.
Running a restaurant is not really an easy task to handle. And besides all that hustle and bustle of the restaurant operations, the restaurant marketing strategies also come out to be a major aspect for a restaurant’s success.
According to Govindan, word of mouth marketing works best for him. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOM) is a powerful asset in our line of work. It not only stimulates people’s interest but as the name implies, it gets people talking.
‘Word of Mouth marketing takes time to spread the word, but it attracts the right kind of crowd,’ says Govindan.
Adding social media to your marketing mix can hugely increase awareness about your restaurant, generate motivated engagement with your food, and get you more customers in your door. Govindan tells that they use social media marketing, especially Instagram to promote their restaurant and highlight daily specials on the menu.
Technology in restaurants has come a long way. From a simple cash register to a central point of control for all operations, technology has grown leaps and bounds.
According to Govindan, just like the two faces of a coin, technology also has both pros and cons. It is a boon that technology has connected different parts of the world and someone outside Mumbai can also see our restaurant online.
Social media has risen drastically in the recent past. With the concept of food bloggers and influencers taking over the social media for popularising a particular cafe/restaurant can sometimes prove negative for the owners. They try to arm-twist the owners by giving them bad reviews on social media platforms in exchange for discounts and offers.
Another important aspect where technology plays a major role is the restaurant management software. The easiest way to automate and digitize your restaurant operations is by merely implementing a POS at your restaurant.
“I have been using POSist and I find the user interface to be very friendly and easy to use. It has helped me to manage my inventory placidly. The real-time reports help me to design strategies for future and increase business,” says Govindan.
Secret Sauce To Success
There’s nothing better than satisfied customers in the eyes of a restaurant that strives to provide nothing but the best. One of the main and most obvious factors that leave customers content is the food, so the importance of food quality is something not to be undervalued.
According to Govindan, it is essential to stick to the basics. There should be no compromise in the quality of the food. Food is one of the most indispensable parts of our lives, as it can affect a person’s health, nutritional status, and mental strength. Perhaps the saying “you are what you eat”, is much more accurate than some might think. Govindan concludes by saying that the quality should be the core competency of your restaurant.