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people 2016-01-22

Educating people about authentic Chinese food is a challenge

Royal China is one of the most loved and celebrated Chinese restaurant globally. Talking to Restaurant India, Aashita Relan, Director, Royal China Delhi, talks about the challenges in running the business.

By Deputy Features Editor
Educating people about authentic Chinese food is a challenge

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey and what led to the inception of Royal China?

After finishing my under Grad from University of Warwick, I tried coming back to my family business, which is in automobile line. Within no time, I realized this wasn't my passion and left to do my masters from Les Roche in Switzerland in Hotel Management. That's when; I decided I had to open a restaurant and what better than my favourite one.

How does the expansion look like at Royal China today?

In India, Royal China has opened 2 outlets in Bombay, one in Delhi and one in Pune so far.

As you are also present in the global market. What was the major challenge in opening the store?

As a brand, Royal China is present in the global market, but I only run the Delhi outlet.

Tell us about your franchisee operations in global market.

Not handled by us.

What are the challenges with growing your business – i.e. maintaining standards, brand integrity, customer experience etc. and how have you met these challenges?

The biggest challenge that we face is that most of the ingredients we use is not available in India. And day by day import rules on food are becoming stricter.

Another challenge we face is educating people about authentic Chinese food.  There are still so many people who feel that Manchurian is a real Chinese dish and that just breaks my heart.

Can you tell us more about your business operations from the standpoint of Loyalty Program, technology (Hardware & software), raw material sourcing and talent recruitment & training?

We have a loyalty card for our VIP guests, which entitle them to discounts and VIP festivals where they can eat as much as they like from the menu at throw away prices. The loyalty card also enables customers to get free cakes on their birthdays, VIP kitty menu rates, free home delivery, and coupons for free wine, Dimsums and desserts along with loads of other benefits.

As you are serving Chinese food which is the second most loved cuisine in India? How is the response so far and where do you sit in terms of revenue?

The response has been amazing. However, since we serve authentic Chinese and not Indianised Chinese, it did take some time for all customers to accept us.

What is the average duration spent by the customers’ at your cafe and the average price break up?

Average duration is 2 hours and price is 1000-1500 per head (plus taxes)

Where would you like to see your brand in the next 5 years?

Would love to see another one in Delhi and hopefully one in Gurgaon.

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