In an interview to Restaurant India, Saji Thomas, Food and Beverage Manager, The Jehan Numa Palace talks about the food trend in the industry.
What all things come along in designing your restaurant menu?
While designing the restaurant menu we have considered four parameters giving ample choices of vegetarian & non vegetarian dishes, the second parameters with lots of selection in appetizer’s Soups, main course & Dessert. The third parameters we consider about pricing- value for money, the fourth parameters we consider about our signature dishes – ancient recipe from royal family of Bhopal.
What menu tweaks are you planning to introduce to stand at Jehan Numa Palace?
We are constantly upgrading with the new trends in industry such as promotions, food festivals, brunches, private lounge party, and invitee DJ Night and on feed back of guest we are introducing special menu, day’s special menu as well as occasion menu - valentine day menu, Holi Milan menu, father’s day menu, mother’s day brunch, friendship day menu, Rakhi special menu and October feast, Christmas eve jingle bell night, Christmas Lunch menu & New Year Eve menu.
Please tell something about the supply chain management in your hotel. Who are the suppliers?
Supply chain management is very important for smooth operation in our hotel. We get all our ingredients from reputed company with brand such as Nestle, Heinz, Unilever, Dabur, Weikfield, Figaro etc. We take utmost care on our delivery services whether it is a cold chain or a dry chain supplies, we store the items as per requirement of the product, we also follow the system of first in last out so to control on expiry of products. We also maintain a par stock, minimum order and maximum order with help of bin card.
Comment something on the involvement of senses in the restaurant?
The involvement of senses in the restaurant depends upon each guests, i.e. the complete dining experience, it means ambience, music, presentation, colour, taste, delivery time and the skills of service. Some guest like natural ambience, some guest live kitchen and likes to know what the cooks are cooking for them.
What are the different types of cuisines served at your restaurant?
We serve different cuisines in different restaurant such as Barbeque and mughlai cuisine served at Under The Mango tree, which is an open air restaurant, Shahnama is a multi cuisine restaurant with a buffet & A la carte service with a selection of Indian, Oriental and Continental dishes. La kuchina is a Live kitchen restaurant with Sicilian style decor which serves’ incredibly authentic Italian & Mediterranean cuisine, Cafechino is a friendly Cafe and patisserie with wide selection of quick bite menu and has a sitting arrangements of indoor as well as garden lounge.
It is said that “sales in Indian restaurants are dropping.” What are the reasons for this?
The welcoming of MNC and Chain restaurants which are quick service brands are the major reason for dropping down the sale of Indian restaurants. The competition on price war is another reason.
Tell something about your journey in the world of food.
I had a passion towards food since my childhood and I started cooking when I was 13. The charm, glimpse, respect, passion and the growth of the industry inspired me to become an F & B professional. It’s a long journey of 25 years of professional & dedication approach towards the guests and recognition by the guest in the world of food. Presently performing as Food & Beverage Manager with Jehan Numa Group of Hotels which involves opening of new property & outlets and elevation of operation of F & B Services with an award from Trip advisor for all three restaurants in 2106 accredited the contribution in the field of food & beverage service for the year 2016.
We have seen that regional food has taken a new form these days. What’s your view?
The changes in food consumption at global and regional level have been a considerable health consequence which is associated with rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases. Regional food has taken a new form in way of street foods and in speciality restaurants which requires high degree of skills and knowledge towards the regional cuisines. The revival of old recipes has to be incorporated in all restaurants these days.
How familiar are you with the legalities involved in opening a restaurant? Are you planning to open up your own restaurant?
The legalities involved in opening a restaurant have to follow rules and regulations of local civil authority. For opening a new restaurant which requires licences, NOC etc such as Shops & establishment act, Food safety License, Insurance, Music Licence Eating house certificate, Fire department NOC, Pollution control board NOC, sales tax certificate and labour laws from various government bodies and departments and Opening up my own restaurant has been always a plan, but till now not decided, I wish it will happen with course of time.