Talking to Restaurant India, Anthony Wilson, Mixologist at Str8up shares about his roller-coaster ride in the food industry.
After getting into the hospitality industry, there was no looking back for Anthony. Accepting every kind of challenges and overcoming them became one of his expertise. Having a specific goal towards contributing largely to beverage segment, he introduced molecular gastronomy at his venture which became gossip point for the local people of Hyderabad. Excerpts from the interview:
What was the whole idea which landed you into the food industry?
The idea initially struck me while looking for a job after completing my higher education. Very randomly, I went to a hospitality company for an interview where I got selected. After working with the company for couple of weeks, this industry intrigued me thereby shaping a new path in my career. My curiosity towards this industry’s catering nature and the skills a bartender possesses gradually increased with time which ultimately made me land into the food business.
Tell us something about your achievements.
My life took a whole new turn while working under Marut Sikka, a renowned chef of the country. I participated in Ballentine’s Coastal Award and won the ‘Mixologist of the Year’ award. It was the biggest changing point of my life, I never looked back since. This award helped me overcome all barriers.
Straight up is a term commonly used at a bar counter when the bartender pours vodka in a shot glass and serves. That’s how I came up with this name which was very unique and different apart from the other local available ventures.
How are you helping your venture with your vast experience?
I am constantly experimenting with various kinds of beverages served by us. Conjuring something new and different from an old beverage is something where my expertise lies. The prime idea is to provide people with variant beverages which are not found in the entire country.
What is the average footfall?
We have become a hub for people looking for great quality of beverages in terms of mocktails and cocktails. We’re almost packed on a daily basis from morning to night. Currently we are doing a business of about 60-65 thousand per day which gradually increases over the weekend.
What are the various kinds of challenges you face?
Challenges are there at every step in this industry. From finalizing a location to the selection of staff, everything is a challenge which has to be dealt with. But I personally believe that challenges are essential to enhance your knowledge and skill. In fact, I love healthy challenges.
What do you have to say about the changing trends in molecular gastronomy?
The customers at most of the ventures can be categorized into two categories. First are those who stick to their drinks and food and second who love to try something new every time they visit a restaurant. People who believe in experimenting with their palate are welcoming and loving the molecular gastronomy trend. It is one trend which is here to stay, offering a lot to both customers and owners.
What is your expansion plan?
We are already planning to open almost 5-6 more outlets within the city before shifting to other cities. We see a very bright future for us as we are passionate and dedicated towards our roles.