Talking to Restaurant India, Sanjiv Puri, MD, Himanshu Resorts which owns fine dining restaurant Italiano in Gurgaon, talks about his plan to grow the business.
What made you open an Italian restaurant when there is so much liking for Chinese food?
ITALIANO means Italian in Latin. Frequent visits to Italy and personal liking for Italian cuisine by me, a Director in Himanshu Resorts Pvt. Ltd and a natural Chef and foodie, inspired me to open this restaurant and named it ITALIANO. Moreover, there was no specialty restaurant for Italian food lovers in Gurgaon
Tell us about the first store of the brand. What is the design element incorporated and what is the average store size?
The first store was established in 2001. The somber decor captivates your heart. Set in a backdrop of white it gives a statement of its own. The selection of the furniture along with the crockery is marvellously done. The restaurant is spread in an area of 1500 sq ft. with 50 covers.
What are the challenges you are facing in growing your business?
It is always a challenge to maintain high standards and hence we follow standard operating procedures of production and service to ensure top quality experience for the customer.
How tech-friendly your restaurant is?
We follow the latest trends when it comes to technology, whether it is using the latest billing software, payment gateways or the latest online ordering for home deliveries. We follow strict protocol when it comes to material sourcing, vendor selection as well as talent recruitment.
As you are serving the most fresh concept? How is the response so far?
We have received tremendous response from all age groups.
What trend do you see in the fine dine segment as you are operating under it?
We see a lot of experimenting with fusion of different cuisines. Also, new innovative ways of presentation of food and service is rising. People are open to all kinds of ideas when it comes to food.
Do you have a growth targets for the next few years and can you reveal any strategy for how you intend to achieve this?
Yes, we are poised for expansion and may add a new brand (on the lines of a neighbourhood café) to our portfolio very soon. We will also be looking at tier 2 and tier 3 cities for expansion as we see a lot of potential in these markets. During the next 5 years we look at going PAN INDIA and plan to open 20 more outlets in various Metros and towns.