Sanmeet Kalra since the beginning had this immense love for food. He always had this strong inclination towards the F&B space, and always knew he would have a brand of his own someday. A blend of passion, determination, and confidence is what led to the beginning of the most loved cafe in Delhi known as Sardar-Ji-Baksh. Sardar-Ji-Baksh is very famous among all groups of people all around Delhi with 25 outlets. The brand has seen several ups and downs but has managed to evolve and grow successfully.
In Conversation With Sanmeet Kalra Of Sardar-Ji-Baksh
In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Sanmeet Kalra talks about the importance of marketing, staff happiness, customer service techniques and also about cafe as a setup.
Growing Trend Of Coffee Shops
According to Kalra, opening a coffee shop can be highly profitable if planned and managed thoughtfully. Cafes serving quality coffee and snacks in a trendy, comfortable atmosphere can be a hugely successful business model.
Coffee shops have become prominent space for socializing, and this is one of the most important reasons behind the evolving cafe culture in India. They are also seen as places for people coming to spend some quality time alone, looking to pass the time reading a book or magazine while consuming a beverage or snack. Coffee shops are also popular for informal business meetings.
To cater to the growing demand, several homegrown and international coffee chains and cafes have come up in India lately.
Importance Of Location
According to Kalra, location is the key factor that can decide the future and growth of a brand at the most basic stage. The location of the cafe brand impacts its success nearly as much like the menu. If the cafe is in the wrong place, it will not bring in patrons and this will ultimately lead to the brand shutting down. The most important aspect of analyzing a location is market research and awareness. As a restaurateur, you should have the awareness of the competition around. Competition can be a good thing as long as it is healthy. If there are too many cafe setups around the similar area that will offer the same menu then it could detract the patrons.
‘Studying the market, and researching about the same, helps to easily determine the competition in a particular area. Online research is quite popular and easy, but to study the market it is always beneficial to take a live tour of the city as this will reduce all chances of errors’, says Kalra.
Optimizing The Order Taking Time
According to Kalra, the most important idea behind a successful coffee shop is to understand the difference between table service and counter service. Having customers order and pay there, and then and calling them when their drinks and snacks are ready reduces the overall labor costs and allows to handle the busy span of the day with precision.
‘Table service is comparatively slower, and it also involves more labor. This format is better suited to restaurants where customers order full meals and spend more time in the establishment. Table service is not a very good thought for coffee shops,’ says Kalra.
According to Kalra, when it comes to attaining the long-term success of the brand, it’s not all about the food. It is about the experience as a whole and one of the biggest influences on the quality of the experience is the people who deliver it. The quality of the staff and service is just as essential as the quality of the patron. And in order for your staff to perform at their best, they need to be both happy and motivated.
‘If there is anything that restaurateurs lose sleepover, it’s losing employees. Turnover rate is pretty high in the restaurant industry. A great way to reduce the turnover is by acknowledging them for serving you. Offer cash prizes for longevity. At the same time, the process of hiring should not stop. Remember, finding new employees, training them, and getting them acquainted to your restaurant matters. So the less time and money you have to spend replacing departing workers, the better,’ says Kalra.
According to Kalra, POS software is no less than a blessing for restaurant owners today. It reduces all human efforts and saves all the time, as well as money. It simplifies the entire process of tracking the reports. However, the deployment of POS software needs to be simple and easy.
“We are using POSist at all our outlets. POSist has reduced all human efforts and has made life easy. It is a very user- friendly solution that even the staff with less educational background uses with precision. It has saved all our time a lot we get hold of the important reports quite easily,” says Kalra.
Kalra concludes saying that customer retention is the ultimate secret sauce behind the success of any food brand. Customer service helps in product development by assessing the needs of customers and getting customers’ opinions.