In a conversation with Restaurant India, Nitish Bansal, Owner, 736 AD talks about his roller -coaster ride in the food industry.
Coming from a completely different background, Nitish went through many hurdles while establishing a venture of his own. Born in Narela which is located in north Delhi, he wanted to learn everything on his own for creating a better experience at his restaurant. Excerpts from the interview:
How did food happen to you?
I always had the passion to do something in the food industry. I started planning on how I can enter into this business which can give my passion a way towards success. Being an amateur, I had big trouble while deciding the location for my menu. After many discussion and research, I finally came to a conclusion to set up my outlet in north campus. I personally believed that the kind of audience I am looking for can be easily found in north campus which can eventually help me in my business. I went to many restaurants around entire Delhi looking out for various ideas and cultures that the restaurateurs are going through. It took me almost four to five months in just finalizing the location for my venture.
Why the name 736 AD?
The credit behind this name goes to my fiancée Prerna. She is currently pursuing Ph.D. in psychology. I was in search of a name which can attract customers and brings out curiosity among them. The entire idea of her suggesting me this name was because of the fact that Delhi was established around 736 AD. We can see the curiosity among people as why this restaurant is having such a name. Initially, people visited us just to explore and to know the reason behind the name, but after the food and service they get here makes them our permanent customers.
How did you plan the interiors for 736 AD?
Initially, the entire interiors were done by me and my friend Rahul. We didn’t hire any expert because we wanted to personalize it in our own way giving it a personal touch. We used gray stones to decorate the walls and ceilings of 736 AD in such a way that it can give people a feel of the structures which could be found in that time. We wanted it to give a feeling that people are dining in a place which is similar to caves found in that time.
What were the various kinds of challenges?
I had many kinds of challenges initially. Firstly my family was not supporting me for moving towards this sector. They had a thought that there is not much return in this sector and it’s very hard for someone to establish their own venture and make things successful. I had no idea how this industry worked. That’s why I personally handled the marketing area which was one of the biggest challenges I encountered. There was a time when I distributed the pamphlets on my own just to figure things out about this industry.
What kind of cuisines do you serve at your restaurant?
You can find lots of varieties of Continental, Chinese and Indian cuisines at 736 AD. I prefer to keep the ambiance energetic with quality food product being served at our tables. I am someone who can never compromise with the quality of food which I serve here. For me, quality is that one factor which can maintain customers for you. Our specialty is vintage momos which is loved and appreciated by people coming to 736 AD.
What is the uniqueness?
Our uniqueness is the quality of the food and service that we provide to our customers. The idea was to serve good quality of food at a pocket -friendly price. In addition to that, the interiors and round bar we are having is something very unique and are rare to find in the current time.
Any expansion plans?
I am already coming with up with a new project in Delhi. It will be our second outlet with a different theme. We are going for a buffet concept where one can enjoy unlimited amount of food at a basic price of 700 rupees per head. I am taking baby steps and will be thinking to expand things even more and move pan India very soon.