How Puja Bhatia of The Conical Twist Made Indians Fall In Love With Cone Pizzas

Puja Khaturia Bhatia, professionally a hotel management graduate and a qualified chef, entered the FnB industry in 2013. With over ten years of work experience in kitchens across the world, qualified chef entrepreneur, Puja, brings to the table her passion and knowledge of food to enhance the brand. The Conical Twist is pizza reinvented. The cones are created to provide consumers with authentic Italian pizza made from only high-quality ingredients, with mobility in mind. Founded in 2018, the creators of The Conical Twist insisted to constantly innovate while staying true to its values of excellence, simplicity, and affordability. 

In Conversation With Puja Bhatia of The Conical Twist

In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Puja Bhatia talks of her journey in the industry, the story behind The Conical Twist challenges faced while running a coffee house, menu design and a lot more.

Conical Twist’s USP

The Conical Twist serves cone pizza to it is customers. It is a fairly new concept in the Indian market and is growing rapidly because of its uniqueness and delectable taste!

With the concept of serving ‘Pizza On The Go,. The Conical Twist allows its customers to enjoy a delicious meal, on the fly. It is consumed the same way as ice cream and does not require any sort of cutlery to consume it, making it a quick and convenient snack for customers.

Apart from the convenience, the quality and deliciousness of the cones are what attracts customers to The Conical Twist.  Their dough is specialized to make the perfect crispy cones. Nothing is pre-made or re-heated, all cones are made-to-order. 

Operational Complications 

According to Bhatia, a major challenge was finding a suitable location. Choosing a restaurant location is one of the permanent choices a restaurant owner makes. The early years of a new restaurant are generally pretty tight and so the rentals should be taken care of. 

If you can define your restaurant type and identify your target demographic and its most populated areas, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a restaurant location that sets your business up for success.

Another significant challenge for them is to make patrons understand what exactly is The Conical Twist. The tagline of The Conical Twist says, ‘In Crust We Trust’. Patrons usually associate the product with ice cream and not with a pizza because it is served in a cone. 

Bhatia says they are still in the process of making people learn about the product.  

Maintaining Consistency Through Recipe Standardization 

Recipe standardization ensures that the menu items will be consistent in quality each time they are prepared and served. With the help of standardized recipes, planned number of servings are served and wastage is minimized. 

According to Bhatia, if you are trying to scale your restaurant business, menu engineering plays an important role. The Conical Twist has three outlets in Mumbai, one in Mangalore and one in Indore. It is important for them to replicate the product so that quality and consistency is maintained. The most successfully engineered menus have a significant impact on sales and profitability.

‘We follow guidelines to prepare our recipes at every outlet so that the consistency is maintained. Random checks are held to ensure that the outlets are following the guidelines,’ says Bhatia.

Marketing Tools Used

According to Bhatia, with food everything is visual. People like to see in advance what are they are going to be having and what will it exactly look like. The main social media platform which they use is Instagram. Instagram is a simple yet great platform to help boost your restaurant’s popularity. A well-planned marketing strategy will give your restaurant the right kind of exposure.

Another marketing tool which they use is collaborating with influencers and food bloggers. This helps them to attract the local audience who are more likely to visit their restaurant. Another way by which they interact on the restaurant’s Instagram page is by running various contests and giveaways from time to time. The reward the winners with a free starter or a discount coupon for their next visit. Contests are a great way of attracting and engaging more people.

Technology Bedding

Quick service restaurants such as small, quick bites joints are often the unorganized sectors of the restaurant industry. Most of these outlets either give out handwritten receipts or used a basic billing software, which only churns out receipts. For the long run, it might be unfavourable for the business as there are no records of the number of orders processed in the restaurant. Even if the restaurant owner is physically present at the restaurant, and is monitoring the cash register, there are ample opportunities for the staff to miscalculate the Kitchen Order Tickets and the number of orders processed. This is where the need for a POS system for a QSR comes.

Having a POS software has helped Bhatia in many ways and made her operations simpler. 

“We have been with POSist for two years now, and it has been extremely helpful for us. The enterprise module has helped us manage inventory and vendors to a marginal level. We are also able to use real-time reports for keeping a better track of our staff and other operations. While using POSist, we can positively say it is one of the most extensive software that I have come across,” says Bhatia.

Secret Sauce To Success

While it takes a lot to start a quick-service restaurant, it takes a lot more to make it a successful venture. According to Bhatia, there are innumerable challenges faced by a restaurateur but it is essential to be persistent and patient. It is essential to recognize that hard work cannot be dismissed. 

‘Success in business is about setting goals and achieving them, and the secret, as many people will agree, is hard work,’ says Bhatia. 

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