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Instead of focusing on future growth, our energies get diverted in solving industry issues: Vikrant Batra

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Vikrant Batra, Director, Cafe Delhi Heights

An established stalwart in the Indian Food and Beverage Industry, Vikrant Batra completed the Restaurant Management course from University of California. In 2011, he opened Café Delhi Heights, a light spirited and friendly place. A passionate entrepreneur, Vikrant Batra, Director, Café Delhi Heights, shares his journey with NRAI

1. What inspired you to come up with Café Delhi Heights? Give us a brief about it.

Every idea succeeds for a reason. The reason always is a latent or an apparent demand in the market. And we found a missing gap, a consumer need, for a place where they can go more than once in a week without getting fatigued.  It is a place where customer can go with their family for grand dinner, a lazy lunch or to grab a beer with friends to celebrate an occasion. Cafe Delhi Heights is an answer to such questions which pop-up in our minds.

2. If you could please elucidate your expansion plans for the brand? Any plans to take it international? 

Like every other entrepreneur Sharad and I also want to expand but not at the cost of compromising on the experience which our existing customers are used to. Now after 11 outlets in Delhi NCR we are creating a base in Mumbai with the first one coming up in August. International? Yes we plan to and we see a lot of potential abroad based on the response we get from inbound travellers and NRIs coming to Delhi.

3. What do you think has led to Café Delhi Heights popularity? What sets it apart from others in this segment?

‘Delhi’ is our middle name and that’s the secret of our popularity. A little large heartedness and a bit of twist into everything

4. One of the dishes on your menu is ‘Open Chicken Burger’. What factors do you consider while curating the menu?

Satiate the taste buds and leave something for the person to think about and wish to comeback and try some other stuff too. Large portions and glocal cuisine is some of the important factors for us to work on.

5. Which trends do you think will rule the restaurant industry by the end of 2017?

There have been some key trends that are gaining attraction in the food services space. Having said that I feel there is still a vacuum when it comes to the concept of fine-dining which is why it is difficult to find a good standalone fine dining restaurant in Delhi other than the ones in the 5 star hotels. Our customers are now well travelled and they crave for the same fine-dining experience that they get in other countries. There are many breakthroughs happening around in the world and I feel that 2017 will be a trendsetting year for a good fine dining experience.

6. What are your major learnings as a restaurateur? Any challenges you would like to address?

While setting up a food business, high rentals and high wages are the two most initial and common problems faced by entrepreneurs. Barring that we always get surprises in form of new taxation laws and new licensing policies which most restaurateurs are not ready for. So instead of focusing on future growth our energies get diverted to solve these issues.

7. What do you do to unwind yourself? How do you keep a balance between your personal and professional life?

Golf. Family. Travel. These three things are enough to keep me away from any kind of stress. Honestly, I love my work and the end results are often very relieving.

8. How have you been involved with NRAI? In your view, what more can be done through the association to strengthen the restaurant sector?

We have always been associated with NRAI. I feel that by encouraging more members to hold hands with NRAI can strengthen the association that will automatically lead to the benefit of restaurant sector.

9. One tip you would like to offer to youngsters aspiring to enter the restaurant business?

Believe in what you are doing and get ready for a lot of hard work as it needs lots of persistence, hard work, and discipline. Success will follow. And make sure you define the purpose before setting on the path.

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