In an exclusive chat with Restaurant India, Dinesh Arora, restaurateur who owns famous outlets of Delhi like- Elf Cafe & Bar, Hadippa, Light Camera Action and The Common Room, shares his expansion plan.
After almost seven years of running restaurant franchisee for Pind Balluchi restaurant in South Extension in Delhi, Dinesh Arora decided to open his own kingdom of restaurants. He worked on some of the interesting and different concepts opening Elf Cafe & Bar in Hauz Khas Village – A destination for all young people by heart who love to eat and love music. And today, he is running restaurants like Hadippa – North Indian Cuisine Restaurant, Lights Camera Action Air bar, Rajouri Garden – A Bollywood Airbar, The Common Room – A Singer’s Destination, where a musical gig happens every day. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
What were the initial challenges that you faced in opening your first few restaurants?
It is very easy to open a restaurant, launch it and make it run successfully and maintain it throughout is a bog challenge. It’s been more than four years now that my first babies Elf Cafe & Bar and Hadippa are doing great in terms of business and still accepted by a guest today as well as it was four years before. We give our guest what they want and we keep on updating ourselves with the food trends. And, keeping up to a guest’s expectation over the years is the biggest challenge. How do you differentiate your restaurant from others in the same forte?
We are doing Indian Fusion food with an Al-forno Oven and launching Brai Grills from South Africa for the first time in Delhi with an open courtyard with a Neem tree in centre. And, hence no one can replace us in terms of heritage or location.
Who do you see as your competitors in the market and why?
There are a lot of entrepreneurs like me that have given F&B scene in Delhi a Push but in past year Farzi Cafe, Social, Olive Bistro and many more have inspired me to get my creative juice flowing and come up with a splendid concept like unplugged courtyard.
Tell us about your bollywood themed restaurant - Lights Camera Action - Airbar, Rajouri Garden.
LCA is doing very well, we have catered to more than 40,000 people in last six months and West Delhi needed a Bollywood only venue with a unique dining experience because people used to travel to South or Central Delhi before LCA to have such experience.
As you are eyeing great expansions, is there any plan to raise funds as well? If yes, when can we see the same happening?
Raising funds has been on cards for some time now and you will get to hear a good news very soon but not in current financial year.
Your restaurants are a mix of global cuisine and rustic designs. What are the design elements that you keep in mind while designing each of the outlet?
If you see all my venues, all are different from each other. Elf Cafe & Bar is woody interior with half yearly menu as per the customer in Hauz khas Village , Hadippa is a true Punjabi restaurant with shades of phulkari and village with North Indian menu, The common room is a retro cafe with modern ambience and serves Indian and Asian Meals with Street Food favourites, LCA is a Bollywood venue with Molecular elements with Indian and Continental menu and now Unplugged Courtyard is going to be the game changer as we are doing Modern Indian Fusion food, Brai Grills and Al Forno Pizzas in a neem courtyard and a huge terrace so we usually try and create a new concept every time.
Tell us something about your expansion plan?
We have expansion plans for Hadippa & The common Room for now and we will be opening five more outlets amongst Hadippa and TCR by next year in Agra, HKV, CP, Jaipur and Mumbai/Pune.