Sachin Kapil, a hotel management graduate, artfully weaves his life and culinary experiences together. Beginning with his early life, he worked with Domino’s and perceived that there are a lot of challenges in the restaurant industry. But he did not deviate from his goal of working in the restaurant industry and work making it a better place. He started a regular juice cart with a canopy and a blender and stationed himself outside parks, colonies and different localities. Soon, he discovered a vast market for the same. He started a subscription model, where juices were delivered to the doorstep of patrons. Around 700 juices were sold per day. This micro-juicery is now known as ‘Liquido’ and it was established in its present form in 2016.
In 2018, Kapil started with a food truck called ‘Vadapav Mistri’. The idea was to bring authentic Mumbai Vada Pav to the plate of every street food enthusiast. The brand typically combines the ingredients of original Vada Pav with innovative twists and serves a whole new flavor to Vada Pav lovers.
In Conversation With Sachin Kapil of Liquido and Vadapav Mistri
In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Sachin Kapil talks of his journey in the industry, the story behind Liquido and Vadapav Mistri, reasons for a restaurant’s downfall, and a lot more.
The Story Behind Liquido and Vadapav Mistri
One of the most common questions people have about juicing is, ‘Why juice?’ “After all, the fruit juice we can buy in bottles, cartons, and can have impressive vitamin and mineral content.”
Also, people have a misconception that fresh juices should be consumed within thirty minutes, otherwise it loses all its nutrients.
Kapil says that this happens because commercial juicing uses pressing machines that generate heat and that leads to loss of nutrients. Initially, Kapil faced the challenge of educating his customers about the benefits of juicing and how a particular mix of raw fruits and vegetables cleanse and detoxify one’s body. A combination of apple, beetroot, and carrot, for example, can be used to treat diabetes patients.
At Liquido, they use the cold press method to extract juices. They offer juices from the finest fruits and vegetables, processed in the best way, to satisfy everyone’s taste buds and provide organic nutrition. The USP of Liquido is that its juices are pure, unpasteurized, 100% raw cold-pressed juices packed in glass bottles and tailored to suit one’s personal health and fitness goals!
Kapil states that the Vadapav being a universally loved quick bite in India has the potential to perform brilliantly in the Indian market if served well with suitable improvisation in the taste. At Vadapav Mistri, innovation is the key and they serve different varieties imbibing authentic flavors from different states of India.
In order to suit the local palate of consumers, they have a total of eight flavors along with some international flavors. Some of them are – Rajasthani Chatka, Gujarati Fusion, and Punjabi Swag. The USP of Vadapav is that the pav is still made in a clay oven (Bhatti) to keep the taste authentic.
Major Reasons For A Restaurant’s Downfall
The fact is that restaurants fail at a very high rate, estimated to be as high as 80%-85% in the first year. On average, a restaurant grosses between 28%-35% returns annually. A well-run operation, where costs are kept low, can gross even up to 50 %, according to industry sources. Average net returns are 14% – 18%.
Everything from food cost, to food waste, needs to be monitored, and over time it can start to feel like more money is going out than is coming in. According to Kapil, the most common reasons why restaurants fail are :
- Fixed Cost: Fixed costs in a restaurant are things that do not change at all or rarely change, like- rentals, food and alcohol licenses, insurance, etc. Fixed costs are non-variable and it becomes difficult to meet them, especially in the beginning, leading to the shutting down of the place eventually. Apart from the fixed cost, there is always a chance of unforeseen expenses. A defective piece of equipment, a jammed pipe, or food waste in the kitchen can upset many well-planned business models. All this can become a burden for the owner and lead to the closing down of the restaurant.
- Decentralization Of Skilled Labor: For years, an ongoing concern for restaurants has been finding enough skilled labor and retaining them once they’re on board. The cost of losing skilled labor is heavy. Kapil mentions that they have converted decentralized skilled labor into centralized skilled labor. Centralized management helps to have complete control over the training of labor, and the service they offer. They are more likely to ensure the restaurant’s core objectives and values are maintained.
- Inconsistency Of Food: Consistency plays a major role in any food outlet. If a consumer visits your outlet the second time and is unsatisfied with the quality of the food offered, it may lead to the loss of repeat sales. Quality and consistency are the core values that help restaurants retain consumers.
Why Is Food Truck Better?
A food truck is a comprehensive motorized vehicle, such as a van or trailer, furnished to cook, prepare, serve, and/or sell food. A food truck is thought to be a high-profit food business idea, mainly because it involves a much more moderate investment against a sit-down restaurant. According to Kapil, the merits of running a food truck are:
- Mobility: Restaurants rise and die with their location. Food Trucks are free of this problem, they are mobile, and they can change the location at any time. If one’s services do not seem to work well at a particular location, they can move to some other location and see if their business thrives there.
- Fast and No Stagnation: Food trucks are undoubtedly faster than a regular restaurant. Although there might be a queue from time to time around a food truck business, it surely won’t take as long to serve as a sit-down restaurant. Food trucks travel all over the place and take part in different events and food fests. They can also strategically change their location on a daily or weekly basis depending on the growth and decline of footfall in some areas.
- Low Logistics Cost: In the case of a mobile kitchen, the food tends to be cheaper. In this economy, it is a huge bonus for food lovers, and people looking for savings in terms of renting space. The maintenance and administration costs of a food truck on a monthly basis are restricted to food, supplies, and gas. Food trucks need to have full staff; just a small team will do, and most of their taxes are much lower than a regular restaurant.
Role Of Technology In Successful restaurant Management
More and more restaurateurs are recognizing the value of tech to help them be more efficient and more profitable. The restaurant tech industry is running overtime to suffice the demand. POS helps you work smartly and keep expenses in control. Kapil has been using POSist at his outlet.
“POS software plays a vital role in the operations of any restaurant. With the help of POSist, the loopholes have been rectified and time is consumed. The amount of control I have to keep a check on my staff and other things in my restaurant is amazing. The inventory management feature has helped me immensely to keep a track of my stock and use it efficiently,” says Kapil.
Kapil concludes by saying that his motto is to spread across the country with two hundred outlets within five years. He wants Vadapav to be recognized as a global product and not just local.