Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Meet successful under-30 restaurateurs who are changing the way we eat!

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Given the substantial risks and the demanding hours, running a restaurant can be among life’s most rewarding endeavours. However, there are a few people who pursued a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant and never looked back.On International Men’s Day, let’s get to know some of the most successful restaurant owners under 30 who are changing the way we look at food. In this conversation, we discussed the risk of opening a restaurant, work-life balance, 2023 food trends, and more.

Karan Nohria

Karan Nohria, who owns Silly, is a newcomer to the restaurant industry and never imagined himself owning a restaurant someday. While growing up, the 23-year-old saw his family involved in a variety of businesses, and after being in business with his family, he honestly became bored with the same routine and mundane system; after all, he was only 20. “That’s when I first became interested in events. I organised events for other restaurants and clubs. I became involved in how things were run and decided to take a leap of faith! At the age of 21, I launched my first self-funded restaurant, and that’s how I began my entrepreneurial journey. We met our break-even point within the span of 10–11 months since we initially launched in March 2021.

Apart from hospitality, I enjoy listening to business and marketing podcasts and reading books on the topics, playing football when I can, watching movies, and playing video games. Given the nature of my job, I would say trying out various restaurants, resto-bars, and clubs, as well as networking and socializing, are at the top of my list. It is difficult to maintain work-life balance if you work in the hospitality industry, but I believe it is very important for one’s peace of mind to take regular breaks, and it also helps develop a better understanding of who you are.”

Columbus Marquis

Columbus Marquis, who owns Marquis Beach Resorts, feels having a mentor who can guide him in the right direction has been invaluable throughout his journey so far. “My family and close friends have indeed contributed to keeping my journey on the right path. Starting at a young age can mean having a tremendous amount of energy and the zeal to bring about change. It is equally important for me to ensure that I am on the right path and privy to all important information that applies to enhancing my work and personal growth.

I listened and I learned from the best, but like any scion, I wanted to add my own dimension, so I started by enhancing my skills while at work.The higher the fixed cost, the longer it takes to break even. As a result, hotels take a much longer time to recover their investments than restaurants do. However, at restaurants, we always look at a 12- to 18-month break-even point, and in some cases, even faster if everything works in your favour. With hotels, the key ingredients that need to be analysed are fixed expenses, variable expenses based on occupancy, and finally, expenses that are directly related to revenue,” he said. He has been playing tennis since childhood and has competed on both the national and international levels. “It was my first passion, shaping my personality, fitness regimen, and work-life balance while also enhancing my business skills due to the discipline it brings. Work-life balance is important to me, and it means that I should be able to take time off whenever I want without having to worry about the business. Balance is about feeling content with who you are and what you do with your time. Time isn’t the real problem here; it begins with one’s mindset. And, in my opinion, work-life balance is something that an individual creates in his or her own space and time,” he concluded.

Ishaan Bahl

Ishaan Bahl, who owns 145 Cafe & Bar, entered the F&B industry at the age of 21 and conceptualised 145 on a notebook that he carried around while shadowing his restaurateur father in 2015. “I had just returned to the country after graduating with honours from the USC Marshall School of Business. I was clear about my decision that I wanted to follow my father and grandfather’s footsteps into the industry, but I was keen to explore the industry with a different approach — that of a millennial. That year, 145 launched Kala Ghoda, which became my canvas to create a casual neighbourhood café and bar that offered a chilled-out, casual experience with global eats and drinks. Travelling plays a major role; it’s where I get my inspiration, which helps me get into work. Besides that, fitness also plays a very important role in my day-to-day life, mostly running, football, and paddle tennis.

” He doesn’t try to micromanage; he is truly blessed with a core team and individual unit teams. “My main focus is on attention to detail, in-depth observations, and providing better experiences for people! You could say I eat, drink, and breathe 145 in a way. My job requires me to multitask constantly. I have been juggling operations, food and beverage innovations, marketing, finance, and expansion, and there are so many minute details that go unnoticed when running a restaurant. I don’t think there is a particular technique to multitasking; I guess at the end of the day, you have to decide what’s important and work hard towards it. People crave “digital detox” from time to time, so offline experiences will increase, especially after COVID. Some of the trends that I personally believe will be major hits in 2023 are health and wellness-focused concepts, simplified choices, eco-friendly and sustainable dining, and in liquor, new gins and mezcals like smoked tequila,” he added.

Dinesh Kathuria

Dinesh Kathuria, who owns The Liquor Store, said that during the course of his education in the UK, he had the fortune to experience the Scottish whiskey trails! The 25-year-old was fortunate to experience the Scottish whiskey trails, which led him to brainstorm the concept of merging technology and retail together and bringing a novel experience to India for the first time by launching the first AR immersive liquor store, as this is something that is sorely lacking currently in the Indian market. “Having years of experience gives us a unique insight and background in the liquor industry, which we have used to bring this concept from inception to conception. Bringing the dream of TLS to fruition so that our clientele may experience the luxury and uniqueness that are solely available to us.

In addition, The Tavern recreates the experience of old British colonial-era taverns as well as the luxury enjoyed by British generals. We have received an amazing response from consumers so far. Keeping in mind the current scenario, where the footfall keeps increasing, the unique touch and feel of the experience is a real attraction for the consumers. In addition to hospitality, I am a huge single malt whisky and sneaker collector, plus I have an obsession with cars and watches!,” he said.As a founder, his important role is to build a leadership team for the business!

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