In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India Seema and Jagmohan Bhutada talk about coming up with a veg restaurant.
Jagmohan and Seema Bhutada were investors into a restaurant brand when they thought of coming up with their own restaurant brand because of their passion for food and hospitality. As vegetarian diners, they had experienced the pain and problem to look out for a good vegetarian restaurant every time they dined out. What was available in the market was either a thali destination or south Indian vegetarian fares. They wanted to go next level, serving traditional Indian vegetarian fares from different regions in fine dining environment. And, it was in March 2016, that Samaroh came into existence at Vittal Mallya road in Bengaluru.
What was the whole idea behind Samaroh?
We had no experience of a restaurant business. It was purely passion that we always wanted to come up with a food venture. After being an investor in another brand for almost two years we came up with our own restaurant brand. The whole idea started with making an environment of celebration. ‘Samaroh’ is an Indian term that connotes ceremony ’, ‘celebration and feast. The concept behind Samaroh is that, we believe that food is a celebration and we wanted to present it in such a way where diner really enjoys it as a huge feast. Hence the tagline, ‘Celebrating Indian Cuisine’. We have a 7 course meal concept which starts with a sweet offering and followed by soup, appetisers, chats, main course, desserts and pan coming on different courses. We offer an experience which is authentic, traditional, nutritious and hygienic. Our hospitality, courtesy, personalised service and well-timed care, win hearts. Our happy customers love the fact of celebrating food and most of them claim that it’s a huge vegetarian delight. They leave with a feeling of ultimate satisfaction and satiety with our food and hospitality.
How have you designed the menu?
The restaurant is a vegetarian restaurant as we always wanted to break this myth that vegetarian is boring. That’s how we came up with so many varieties on a single meal. We change our menu every single day and still we have variety of dishes specially crafted and designed. We have authenticity and traditionalism in our food. When you go to any restaurant, the meal usually starts with a soup, but our Indian tradition is actually to start with a sweet. We start our meal with a tiny portion of sweet called Manwar. After which, we serve soup, appetisers and other meal options. We have focused on various regions of India, making specialities of those regions, a part of our menu. We expand our menu on the regular basis adding more and more dishes on a regular basis.
How much time and money you have invested to come up with this restaurant?
It took us almost 4-6 month to come up with the brand, with an overall investment of around 2.5 crore in opening Samaroh.
What are three essentials customers’ always look for in a restaurant?
‘Hospitality’, ‘food indulgence’ and ‘value for money’ are key essentials, a diner looks for in a restaurant. Our restaurant adheres to these essentials and provides the diner a feasting experience with royal hospitality and a pocket friendly budget. We always believe in a win-win-win philosophy, providing value to customers, growth to team and success to business.
What is the average footfall at your restaurant and what is the number of repetitive customers?
The average footfall can be between 100-150 on weekdays and 300-350 on weekends. About 40-50% of our guests visit our restaurant at least twice a month.
How about the design of the restaurant?
My restaurant is absolutely lively and full of colours. We have come up with pink and yellow hues which create an environment of celebration. Every cutlery and dinnerware that we use is specially crafted and designed by us. Also, the dinnerware has a nutritional value as we serve it in Kansa metal which was used by traditional Rajas and Maharajas. It gives a royal feeling to the guests. The presentation, fragrance and taste are also very important. A diner first sees, then smells and then eats. So there is an involvement of all the senses. Our serving team is very courteous and serves with utmost hospitality. We have taken care of the smallest of the elements to lead to a nostalgic dining experience and bring the Indian culture back, giving authenticity.
What is the expansion plan?
Our mission is to make food lovers indulge in a feasting experience by serving them a wide variety of pure vegetarian Indian delicacies that are chef crafted and served with hospitality standards of the royalty at an unbelievably affordable price which creates a unique lasting experience and blissful happiness among diners. We will be shortly opening our 200 seater restaurant this month in RMZ Ecoworld, Bellandur, Bangalore. We plan to set up 15-20 restaurants globally by 2020. Other cuisines in vegetarian format are also on our minds.