In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Vaneet Wadhera shares his experience of working as F&B director at different five star properties in India.
What all things come along in designing your restaurant menu?
While designing a restaurant menu one has to take care of multiple parameters such as category of the hotel, type of restaurant – specialty or all day dining, Cuisine and its sub cuisines, Mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes.
However, menu price factor, its acceptability and affordability, current local competition, geographical location – location in the city, local accessibility and eating habits of locales – dominance of vegetarian or non vegetarian, specific cuisines are some of other preferences.
Tell us something about the supply chain management in your hotel. Who are the suppliers?
Supply chain management plays a vital role in the smooth operations of any hotel. With thousands of ingredient on the list, all are grouped and sourced through established companies and suppliers of repute. Our hotels use products from various brands and companies, to name a few Dabur, Coco Cola, Unilever, Mother Dairy, Pepsico, etc.
Whether cold chain or dry chain supplies, utmost care is taken to deliver the supplies from the source to the hotel without affecting the keeping quality of the goods. The hotel after receiving the goods, stores as per the requirements of the products – frozen, chilled or dry conditions. Every week an updated list for the date of expiry of the goods batch is circulated to the various departments of the hotel by the central store so to eliminate any usage of expired products. A certain par stock is maintained, reorder levels and delivery time is taken into consideration when maintaining the par stock levels.
What are the different types of cuisines served at your restaurant?
We serve variety of cuisines at our restaurants including Indian, Italian, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Japanese and American amongst other.
What is the contribution of good menu in restaurant business? How are new techniques in food helping the restaurant grow?
People go to a restaurant for food and a good menu can make the restaurant the talk of the town. It not only helps in increasing the sales and revenue generation, also does the marketing automatically by the word of mouth. With the increasing guest demands for a “something new and different”, newer techniques and methods have been adopted by chefs to promote the cuisines and their restaurants. It can be molecular gastronomy or an old cooking technique which had faded with time, but then these are the new tools to the growth of restaurant business. These new techniques not only form the part of marketing gimmicks, but their representation on the plate fascinates the customers and acts as an attraction.
What inspired you to become a chef? Tell something about your journey in the world of food.
Food had always fascinated me since the childhood and still I love food. My mother’s cooking was one major factor that I became a chef as we enjoyed her cooked delights every now and then at social get-togethers and still relish her cooking till date. Also, the exposure to the hotels and hotel culture from a very small age because of my father’s hotelier career brought me closer to the food. I was destined to pursue a career as a chef.
The journey in the world of food as a career started 20 years back after graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management, Bombay in the year 1994 and has been a very satisfying learning till now. Presently at the given role of Director of Food & Beverage with Louvre Hotels Group in India operating hotels under the brand of Golden Tulip Hotels, involves opening of new hotels, their food and beverage avenues and elevation of the operations and services of the established hotels with the award of Silver Hat for the year 2014 by Indian Culinary Forum accredited the contribution in the field of culinary.
How familiar are you with the legalities involved in opening a restaurant? Are you planning to open up your own restaurant?
Opening any food outlet involves to comply with the local rules and regulations. To start up a restaurant one requires a lot of licenses, certificates and NOCs form various government bodies and departments. Starting from Shops and Establishment Act, Fire Department NOC, Food Safety License, Eating House Certificate, Pollution Control Board NOC, etc. Approximately 15 to 20 licenses are required.
Opening up my own restaurant has been always a plan, but when it is executed or comes through is not yet decided. Yes, I do dream of opening my own restaurant - big or small, casual or fine dining, and will happen at the right moment of time.