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Franchise 2015-03-24

I ensure that the menu changes with season- Chef Sokhi

Harpal Singh Sokhi is considered as \'Energy Chef\' of India. Fusion of Indian food with International Cuisine is what made Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi a sought after name. Read what he shares on delivering the best to the customer.

By Deputy Features Editor
I ensure that the menu changes with season- Chef Sokhi

How are celebrity chefs like you helping the restaurant business grow?

Celebrity Chefs play an important role in helping a restaurant business grow as it gives recognition faster to a place and helps it to establish quickly. Having been a professional Chef and worked on to become a Celebrity Chef I feel it is important to know your food well which only helps further in establishing the concept and the restaurant.

It is also important that each Celebrity Chef needs to understand how well is he connected to the target audience to which the restaurant caters.

What are the things that you ensure to make your brand a successful brand?

In India, the concept of Celebrity Chef is relatively new, thanks to television, lots of chefs who connect well with their audiences have now a great following.

As a Celebrity Chef I ensure that there are visible differences in the menu and dining experience. These differences, however, should be simple and understood well by the guests.  To me, the restaurant interiors should also be engaging and people should be able to relate everything with the personality of the Celebrity Chef. My casual dining restaurant Twist of Tadka has quirky interiors, which engages people right from the entrance. I have always felt that when people come to dine, the moment they order the food, one has to keep patiently waiting till the food arrives, so I thought that the interiors should be engaging and the table ware should do some talking and engage people in discussion within the family.

Of the most important thing, I have brought in small differences in food which people can relate to through my television show. People should get an experience of what they have seen on television which is served to them right on their plate. Simple things which guests would not have imagined but becoming talking points should be seen in the menu.

I ensure that the restaurant gets initial boost by engaging with audiences and holding culinary classes which become talk of the town.

How can a chef driven restaurant expand its footprints?

I think the most important thing is to have a successful restaurant up and running first for people to believe that there is a differential factor. For an investor, it is how quickly he can turn around a restaurant gives him a sense of pride and ownership of the franchisee. I think half the work of expanding is then done by the owner himself within the region.

You are running three restaurants in Punjab region. What is your expansion plan?

Well, I am moving slowly towards expansion and not looking at hurrying up. The most important thing is to establish a successful franchised restaurant and support him at every step. People who buy Celebrity Chef Franchisees look forward to every solution that bothers them, even the day- to-day operations.
I am in the process of expanding my team so that support to all my restaurants is available at any time.

What are your most famous dishes? Which one is your favourite and which is the customers?

Having set a restaurant franchise business, I always thought of differences that would be visible in my restaurant. So the first thing I felt was customer engagement with ambience, then the food and then the twist to the food which a Celebrity Chef brings in. Having done some successful restaurants I feel that some of the most talked about dishes in general are Beetroot amley ki tikka and Mirchi ka Halwa. These dishes have bought in the wow factor. I also felt that it is important to keep changing the menus at intervals so that guests get something new apart from the comfort restaurant food which every restaurant has. So, I make a constant effort to ensure that the menu changes with season.

How do you market your brands in terms of positioning them?

Since I have been doing Turban Tadka on TV which has a mass appeal I feel that if I were to look into numbers, then it is important to create a casual restaurant which appeals to Tier II and Tier III cities. Apart from that I have been doing classical food of Hyderabad and Fusion I have two brands The Treasury and BIBIJaan which I look forward to opening them in Major metros and international locations in the near future.

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