In an exclusive chat with Restaurant India, Sanchit Aneja, Owner of IKKA shares his childhood dream to open a restaurant.
Tell us about your journey until you opened this restaurant?
Starting a restaurant was my dream from childhood. I have been waiting for the right opportunity and fortunately everything fell in place last year and here we are.
I took up hospitality after my school and passed out from IHM Pusa six years back. After that I decided to get my hands dirty by working at all levels in different restaurants in the city. I always felt that to get the real grip of the business, one has to learn it the hard way. Only experience can teach the real intricacies of business. After getting enough experience by working with biggest brands, I decided to take the leap.
What are the challenges faced to manage a restaurant?
Managing a restaurant is as challenging as a business. When you start, you will surely see small and big challenges in almost every department. But that makes it equally exciting, as you never see a dull moment. I believe that setting up good systems and processes is the key for long term sustenance in this business.
How do you decide on pricing keeping your target customers in the mind?
The customer is ready to pay more for getting better experience. But, we can never afford to take them for granted. They should feel that they have got value of each penny that they spent. We take all this into consideration while pricing our products.
Who do you see as your major competitors in this segment?
There are many established as well as growing players in the industry. But, I do not see them as our competition. I believe that there is so much scope for taking customer experience to different levels. There are so many concepts that can be created, which would not compete, but co-exist. We have our own space.
What strategies do you adopt in marketing?
We try to follow a comprehensive marketing plan with presence through multiple channels. While we are very bullish on digital, we do not ignore the conventional marketing channels as well. Our marketing strategy is dynamic and interactive, mostly planned and partially unplanned, just to keep room for us to react to unforeseen developments.
Do you face difficulty in managing the logistic chains at your restaurant?
It is a challenge when one starts a venture. Thankfully for us, we did plan and setup our vendor ecosystem well in advance before launching. One still sees small issues once in a while, but our team is strong enough to manage them quickly.
What is your expansion plan?
I am looking at incremental growth for at least a couple of years. There are a couple of projects in the pipeline in Delhi and Mumbai. I would like to set up strong systems and processes for next couple of years before pressing the accelerator. I keep reiterating to my team about the importance of systems and processes for sustenance and scalability.