Businessfortnight had an interview with Harmandeep Khurana, owner of Barbeque Company. Started their first outlet in Janakpuri, New Delhi back in 2015, today aiming to have more than 25 restaurants all across India with more than 100 crores turnover by 2025. After receiving an amazing response from the crowd, Harmandeep Khurana dreams to own a leading F&B brand chain.
Starting a new F&B brand chain is not an easy task, but he believes to achieve the vision of his company soon. Currently, running Barbeque outlets in Preet Vihar, Janakpuri, Noida, Gurgaon and Jaipur, he wishes to grow more. Talking, about his mind on challenges and opportunities in the restaurant industry, he also shares his insight about the company growth.
Full insight to an interview with Harmandeep Khurana owner of Barbeque Company
What is the most challenging thing for a food start-up?
Food startup looks very lucrative as an industry but it has very peculiar challenges. As an owner of one of the fastest-growing live grill restaurant chains, I feel one of the biggest challenge is building a loyal customer base. We are not in the 90s where the customer has limited options. They have 1000s of options available with a new brand coming off every day.
This has made the food industry very competitive. You are required to give as many reasons to your customers so that they choose you. Now, they want food but also a great experience, pleasant ambience, customer service and many such new things. We are glad that we have been able to crack this hard nut and take customer retention very seriously.
What was the impact of a pandemic on your company and new start up’s?
We have never faced anything before this. Pandemic has changed the world and the way it operates. So it has impacted my company and the Startups of this industry. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology we have now digital menus, digital payment, and digital invoice management. All this would have taken a lot more time to be part of our lives but the pandemic made it all a routine for us. Also when people are desperately coming out to have food in the pandemic sanitization, wearing masks and social distancing has been part and parcel of our lives.
What is the USP of your barbeque outlet?
The USP is the concept and customer experience. We never expected people will love it so much that we open multiple outlets. We feel that in India families and groups love to celebrate every small and big event by eating out. It’s very difficult for anyone restaurant to make everyone happy on a budget. so when you offer people more than 50 varieties of food in a pocket-friendly budget at one place they just love it. We love our customers, we take regular feedback and get back to work and deliver what people like. So, if you listen to your customer they never gonna ditch you.
What are your future plans to grow your company?
We know that dining out is never going out of fashion but we have lockdown and night curfews so it becomes difficult for people to enjoy outside food. That’s why takeaway has gained traction. Based on several inputs from stakeholders and customers we are planning to parallely to start a takeaway outlets chain. Growth and expansion in new cities especially Punjab, Maharashtra, Banglore, Hyderabad and the southern region of the country are on the table for now. A lot of people have approached us to open a franchise with our brand name.
Western food will take over the traditional touch of Indian food, in upcoming years?
I would disagree with this as we all know food or a cuisine don’t go out of fashion like apparel we just add things to the list. Specially Indian like traditional food and they madly enjoy that. So I think new items or western food may be added to the list but Indian food will never lose its significance.
What is the vision of your company behind expanding the chain?
See when I started with the thought of making bbq company as the most delicious and affordable live grill restaurant chain for people of India. This was the only vision I had at that time. But in the last few years, I have added another dimension to my vision and that is offering franchise business to people who want to start a franchise restaurant but the cost and technicalities aren’t allowing them to do so. My team is really working hard to make the owing bbq company franchise affordable and easy.
How do you see the growth of the Indian food market in upcoming years?
The Indian restaurant industry is worth Rs.75,000 crores and is growing at an annual rate of 7%. I feel that the graph is going to move upwardly. But I feel that The industry is highly fragmented with 1.5 million eating outlets, of which a little more than 3,000 outlets form the organized segment. It going to be more organized in the coming years. More people are coming out to eat food.
BY -AKHIL GORE