In conversation with Restaurant India, Puja Sahu, Owner, The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe unveils her expansion plan in next five years.
The idea for potbelly was born 5 years back. I had no big plans; it was started with the desire to do something I was passionate about. I had been a designer for 12 years and that profession had lived its natural course and I felt the need to take a leap of faith and take the plunge. We liked the view from a terrace in shahpurjat and decided to convert it into a beautiful cafe space.
What are the challenges you face in growing your business?
We face challenges every now and then that are maintaining consistency with food and service, making sure supplies for our raw material is smooth, staffs is working harmoniously, meeting customer expectations, controlling pilferage etc. The best marketing tool for us has been word of mouth and the coverage on several publications and blogs and television. We have hardly ever resorted to loyalty programmes as it has never appealed to me.
How are you competing with your competitors?
Being on the fourth floor, we realised we had to think out of the box as no one would climb all the way to taste something that the market was already flooded with. Thus, the idea of Bihari food was born. We decided to name our restaurant ‘The Potbelly’ because it's a food centric restaurant.
Tell us about your business operations from the standpoint of loyalty Program, technology (Hardware & software), raw material sourcing and talent recruitment and training?
We have grown organically and spent considerable amount of time in training the chef’s and staff. We decided to move at a steady pace so that we could first lay a solid foundation. We have the necessary software’s for billing and for our purchases.
What are your marketing strategies?
There is a team, which handles our social media marketing and we organise events like open mics (comedy), poetry slam, live music, etc to keep our restaurant a buzz.
What is your expansion plan?
Currently, we are in two locations- Shahpurjat with a seating capacity of 55-60 (five years old) and one inside The Bihar Niwas in Chanakyapuri (a year old), which has a seating capacity of about 80. We are looking at more locations in and around Delhi and hopefully in next five years, we are in at least seven locations.