In an interaction with Restaurant India, Shantanu Yadav, Owner, Brick N Bean Café shares his experience of entering into the food business at an early age.
After pursuing computer science engineering from Bhopal, Shantanu wanted to try his luck in the F&B industry towards which he was always passionate. After establishing this café with the help of his co-partner, things got on track and he wanted to continue his career catering quality food and experience. Excerpts from the interview:
When did you realize that there is something for you in this food industry?
I am currently very young as compared to other people in the competition. I was always passionate towards this industry and wanted to have a place where I can spend my time after retirement. But my passion led me to execute my retirement plan and instead carve a career out of it. Thus, I realised my calling for the industry and worked my way into it. I wanted to provide people with a place dealing with comfort followed by great food.
Tell us something about the design.
Brick N Bean is a two-storey building designed, keeping a lot of things in mind. I was always clear about what I wanted my café to be and somewhere or the other crafted the building in the exact manner as I planned it on paper. Both floors are different in their vibes -The downstairs segment is for people who enjoy listening to loud music while dining. On the other hand, the upper segment comprises of furniture and books and mild melody for one to come in and relax while reading anything according to their preference. We have decorated the whole wall with handmade paintings depicting the streets of European countries.
What made you enter into the food segment so early?
It was a random day thought which came to my mind. I thought that if my ultimate goal is opening a café, then I should start working on it accordingly. My brother (also co-partner) supported my decision which boosted my morale. I clearly saw an opportunity waiting for me and grabbed it.
What were the challenges which came up your way?
The decision to enter this industry at a mere age of 23 was my biggest challenge. I lacked the knowledge of things related to the back of the counter. From finances to experiences, I was continuously learning where my brother helped me a lot. It won’t be wrong to say that without him, it would’ve been impossible.
What is the uniqueness of your café?
We are promoting our love and passion for food over any business values. We have designed our café in a European manner giving it an international touch. From the paintings to the ambiance to the cuisines, everything is considered as our uniqueness.
How much money have you invested till now?
We started investing money slowly and steadily. We were new in this business and wanted to be sure and precise about what we were doing. We took baby steps and till date have almost invested 60-65 lakhs.
How is the customer response?
The idea that we wanted to expand our passion over prioritizing business expansion helped us a lot. Within one week things started to change for us, as people started visiting more regularly. We currently have a ratio of 20:80 where 80 per cent is new customers.
What are your expansion plans?
Currently, we are not thinking of expanding. We want to understand the market functioning better before expanding. We would love to target different cities.