Talking to Restaurant India, Harshit Arora, Co-Partner, After Stories talks about his venture.
After graduation, Harshit Arora and his friend, Abhimanyu Boken joined his father’s business for six months. After spending six months there, the duo realized that the job was not fulfilling their interest and they wanted to do something of their own. One of their friends who is also a connoisseur of good food and drink gave them the idea of starting a bar on the line of bar exchange concept. The duo liked the idea as they have been a great food lover and had travelled a lot in search of good food and beers. That’s how they realized their love for beers and soon they started researching on it travelling throughout the country looking after best microbreweries. Finally, After Stories was born in Sector 29 Gurgaon in 2017. Excerpts from the interview:
How much investment you did while coming up with your venture?
We have invested approximately 5 crores till now as we wanted to have a world class experience when it comes to serving best beers and interiors.
What challenges you faced while coming up with such a concept as competitions are high in this market?
There were many challenges as it was our first project. But fortunately, we had a good team which supported us all through our journey. We were a fresher in this segment which made things really difficult for us. The industry looks nice to everybody. But when you enter into the business you realize how difficult it is to sustain in this segment. Initially, we planned to complete this project within three months but it actually took nine months to happen. One of the big challenges that we faced was electricity related issues. We almost spent two entire months in order to get over this challenge. Another challenge which came across our way was the license.
How have you designed the menu?
A friend of mine helped us in designing the menu for our café. He has been into this industry for a long time and has previously worked with few good restaurant chains as well. We wanted to have as much as small portions items there in our menu. But with customer’s demand we have to change the concept and increase the portion size. We are having a global cuisine menu at our café.
What is your specialty?
We are a micro-brewery which is serving the best quality of beer in the market. We are importing everything from Germany just to make sure that the quality is met. We don’t believe in compromising with the quality of our product. The different types and flavors of beer which is found here is completely unique and different.
What is the average footfall? Who are your customers?
We are focusing on the corporate market. But we welcome families as well. We believe in catering to everyone that’s why we have different segments available at our café. We have an average footfall of around 4,500 people in a month.
What is your plan expanding this restaurant?
We will come up with different outlets in different cities in the upcoming time. You can say that the expansion is under process. Currently, we are looking towards finding a good location for our establishment as it’s one of the primary things that should be done before opening your venture.
Whom do you see as your competitor in the market?
I personally take competitions very seriously. Everybody is our competitor. Everyone is cutting down each other’s sales which ultimately bring us on a competitive level.
What trends do you see coming up in this industry?
Decorating the food items is one trend which is on a rise. Restaurateurs have started decorating their platters in order to grab their customer’s attention. We can currently see a lot of fusion going on in the food market.