Having cut his teeth as a successful chef at JW Marriott, Vishal Atreya made the triumphant transition from the kitchen to the catwalk. He completed his graduation from the Institute Of Hotel Management, Chandigarh. After working with several premium brands and hotels, he came up with his magnum opus – The Pump House, Bangalore – in 2018. The Pump House is a Brewpub that quenches the city’s thirst for a craft beer of an extraordinary kind. It is a triple-storeyed high-rise that contains a gigantic 16,000sq-ft space that accommodates 400 people at once!
In Conversation With Vishal Atreya of The Pump House
In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Vishal Atreya talks of his journey in the industry, the story behind The Pump House, standing out from the crowd, and a lot more.
Get ‘Tastefully Wasted’ At The Pump House, JP Nagar
The Pump House is inspired by The Pump House at Hesaraghatta, which was one of the first domestic water pumps in that area. Atreya mentions that in the restaurant business, the quality of food first builds your reputation and then earns money. Atreya says that if beer gets you wasted, why not get ‘tastefully wasted?’ That is how they came up with the tagline of The Pump House – ‘Tastefully Wasted’.
The Pump House is located in a posh location at JP Nagar. Atreya says that there was a lack of microbreweries in JP Nagar, and the people would travel all the way till Indiranagar and Koramangala. That is when he realized that there is a demand but no supply for the same and he finalized this location.
From pumping water to pumping beer, The Pump House strives to not only serve superior quality craft beer but also provide exemplary culinary offerings at a minimal price in a standalone division. The Pump House also won an award in the category of ‘Best Regional Debutant Restro-Bar of the year- South’, at the Indian Restaurant Congress & Awards (2019) for their outstanding contribution towards Bangalore’s F&B Industry!
Standing Out from the Crowd
India’s Pub City, Bangalore, has now become home to a wide variety of lounge bars, resto-bars, and clubs. The bustling city is swamped with pubs and other nightlife venues. To stand out among these venues, Atreya believes in the 4 key pillars of running a restaurant, which are as follows:
- The ambiance of your Restaurant: A lot goes into making a restaurant successful. There is no point in packing up a place with additional equipment with the expectation of a big crowd when what you are actually doing is confining them in a small place. Create more space for people to feel comfortable. If the restaurant is not very big, come up with ways to maximize space or create an impression of a more spacious restaurant by using smaller furniture and wallpapers in light colors.
- Quality of Service and Food: The quality of food and service standard is of primary importance and holds the potential to make or break a restaurant’s prominence. As a guest, you will remember how the food tastes, and if it wasn’t entirely up to the mark, however, there is a good chance you may still try the restaurant again if they had great service.
- The atmosphere of your Restaurant: Going to a restaurant is an experience that includes all of the senses, not just the faculty of taste. A pleasant atmosphere means that the restaurant is a relaxing place to spend time. If you’re striving to attract an eccentric crowd, a new playlist and theme-based events might have people flocking to your doors, buying cocktails and drinks soon after
Menu Engineering and In House Beers at The Pump House
The fundamental objective of menu engineering is to improve profit per guest at a restaurant. This is performed through a thorough analysis of the profitability and popularity of individual menu items, followed by the position of items on the menu to encourage guests to choose particular dishes.
At The Pump House, the menu is not extensive and it is designed keeping in mind the general palate of Bangalore, says Atreya. Atreya mentions that innovation and experimentation with the dishes keep happening at The Pump House. The menu is revised every quarter. According to the crop cycle in Bangalore, every 90 days there are changes in the menu,
The Pump House brings its own range of in-house beers-, namely, The Pump House India Pale Ale, Wit with nearly 50% wheat, Hefe adding complexity to the traditional banana & clove beer with caramel and rye malt, Blonde and Stout with jaggery, wheat, and various specialty malts.
The brewers are given full discretion to experiment with the liquor and come up with new varieties and additions!
Top Strategies While Opening a Microbrewery
The restaurant business is a tough business as you have to attract guests to come in more than they do at the competitor restaurants. Most restaurant businesses shut down abruptly and do not survive if they fail to engage people. According to Atreya, in the case of microbreweries, restaurateurs are looking at larger numbers to get a better return on investment. Here are the top three strategies to be kept in mind while opening a microbrewery:
- Right Choice of Location: While choosing the location for your microbrewery, a restaurateur must keep in mind the following: visibility, space, and ongoing businesses and competitor analysis. Cost is always a bottom-line consideration for any business. Before finalizing a location, make sure it’s in your budget and if it will help you to generate business.
- Deciding The Concept: Choosing a restaurant concept entails a lot of science. Your location will have an extensive impact on deciding the most effective restaurant concept. It is important to make sure that there is a demand for the cuisine, themes and experience that you offer. Studying your target audience helps in refining your concept. However, make sure that it reflects who you are and what you want to cook at your restaurant.
- Choosing The Resources: Atreya mentions that it is important to choose the right resources for your restaurant. Be it the vendors, restaurant concept, location etc. There are a lot of factors involved while choosing these resources, one must be careful while making the decision.
All the factors mentioned above will help one to have a precise understanding of the factors to keep in mind while opening a microbrewery and how you can further boost your restaurant operations which will pave the path for a flourishing business!