Making your way into the quirky double-storey Farzi Cafe in Delhi’s Connaught Place is nothing less than a visual delight. The brickwork on the walls, wooden tables, chairs, quirky cutlery, their menu, their food presentation, and the way they give their customers a bill - everything is like a breath of fresh air. It is not just the food that makes a place stand out, but also the ambience that plays a role in attracting customers.
Zorawar Kalra, Founder & Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd, owner of Farzi Cafe, Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra thinks the same. He has observed certain changes in the way people approach their food, however, with the availability of several choices 2018 gave a whole new dimension to it.
A drastic change in food habits
“People go to restaurants for an experience and I want to give them the same. I also want to take Indian food to the global palate. In 2018, we have witnessed a drastic change in food habits, preferences of guest and have noticed that ambience plays a major role. It helps in giving quality time to diners."
By having such a great chef, food writer as father and a major influence ever since childhood, it was natural for Kalra to have developed a taste for different types of cuisine.
People want to try new combinations, they have moved ahead of butter chicken
“I love fusions and feel that people have now become experimental and like to try a new and different type of combinations. Understanding people have gone beyond butter chicken and bread now, they like exploring food. Indians are travelling all over the world and their palates have become more defined. We do a lot of fusion regional food and it is getting a great response. The palate of diners has changed drastically. People want to get surprised and like innovation. ”
In 2018, the learning continued
Kalra believes that 2018 has been a combination of many ups and downs. Despite the growing love for food and experimentation, the hospitality industry witnessed a loss.
“This year has been a mix of extremes, on one hand, we have started many new franchisees, but on the other we witnessed losses. The new taxation system has affected the market tremendously. Goods and services tax has hit the industry; the prices of raw material have gone up, customers spending capacity has gone down,” Kalra said while highlighting how the year 2018 has been for him so far.
“Things are good now and we are expanding our outlets overseas. Soon, Farzi cafe will be opening in London and it has just opened in Lucknow. People are really enjoying the fusion. I feel GST made it difficult but was a good move,” he added.
This year gave the dream of going global
Kalra spoke about the challenges he has to face while going global. “You face a lot of challenges, the first thing being catering to and understanding your customers and their taste. Selling fusion Indian food is comparatively easier in India than aboard. Finding right local partner and staff is another challenge along with maintaining the same quality all over.”
Important to evolve to stay ahead
Kalra believes that it is important to be the best to survive in this industry that already has so much competition. He said, “In an industry where competition is tough, it is extremely important to keep evolving and growing. We plan exciting, out of the box dishes like Dal Chawal Arancini, which is a simple combination of dal, rice, papad and aachar.”
Source: India Times (https://www.indiatimes.com/lifestyle/2018-brought-innovation-beyond-butter-chicken-bread-on-indian-plate-tells-zorawar-kalra-358694.html)