A Meaty Affair

An ideal place for meat and barbeque lovers, Barbeque Nation has been at the forefront of delicious live grills for over a decade now. The pioneers of live-grills concept, they came up with unique concepts like ‘DIY’ (do-it-yourself), Kulfi Nation and Live Counters, which have been attracting food-lovers in large numbers. The casual dining chain led by Kayum Dhanani, Promoter of Barbeque Nation and Sameer Bhasin, CEO, Barbeque Nation have been on a rapid expansion spree since the time of its inception of live on-the- table grills in 2006. By 2008, the barbeque chain had a significant pan-India presence, with outlets in Chandigarh, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, with Kerala next on the pipeline. Barbeque Nation introduced ‘Live Counters’ at their outlets, where a chef cooked food exactly according to customer’s preferences. In 2012, Barbeque Nation had opened its 25th outlet in Bengaluru. BBQ inaugurated their first international outlet in Dubai, UAE in 2016. Kayum Dhanani has all the reasons to be happy and go beyond his current portfolio of 84 outlets. Sameer Bhasin, CEO, Barbeque Nation shares what drives the team to keep giving their best in terms of food, service and hospitality and their future plans.

What are some of the changes and innovation you have brought about at your outlets?

We have introduced quite a few changes. The colour scheme is different and more modern now. Also there are many live counters now at most of our outlets. Our Marathahalli outlet in Bengaluru has seven live counters and even a simple dish like dal will be cooked the way you want it, right in front of you. There are exotic vegetarian and non vegetarian counters with interesting meats and sea food, besides the vegetarian and non vegetarian grills and barbeques on the table. The buffet continues to be everyone’s favourite too with lots of interesting curries, but we have added more varieties of dishes now. There’s also a live kulfi counter. We have interesting corporate lunches too. Also since most people are getting health conscious, we can customise the way our food is cooked with less oil and less spices.

You have something called the Guest Satisfaction Index. Tell us something more about it?

Barbeque Nation strives on feedback especially direct feedback from the guest. In 2009 we introduced a system where we could get feedback from guest which includes ambience, food taste, cleanliness, service and more. Currently we have 100 + team sitting out of Indore and calling 20% of guests who have dined the previous day to take their feedback. We also receive suggestions on opening newer locations, introducing newer food products/festivals and more through this system and we take our feedback seriously.

Besides the popular grills and barbeques, you are also known to host many food festivals with interesting themes. What is the idea behind it?

Adhering to the principle of always putting the customer first, we continually offer innovative food festivals across outlets with a range of interesting foods – of which the Bollywood Barbeques food festival is a part. On an average we host about six food festivals every year. Also, every time a guest is celebrating his birthday or anniversary, the staff gets together to entertain them with an impromptu dance. We have also won many awards and recognitions. Recently our founder and promoter Kayum Dhanani received the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award (APEA). Barbeque Nation is a company that values relationships and satisfaction, both among its customers and employees. The brand was awarded one of the Top 37 best places to work in India in the largest workplace study. In 2017, Great Place to Work with association with RAI (Retailers Association of India) awarded Barbeque Nation as one of the Top 10 retailers to work for in 2017. On June 30, 2017, for the second consecutive time, Barbeque Nation was awarded as Top 36 best places to work in India.

What are some of your expansion plans?

We have also tied up with Johnny Rockets, an all-American food while giving you a taste of classic Americana, which is timeless in nature. It is a casual dining restaurant. With a little bit of singing and dancing, Johnny Rockets offer Shakes, Floats, Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, Starters, Desserts and lots more in our mouth-watering menu. Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd took over the franchisee rights for India. Johnny Rockets is currently present in Delhi (4 outlets), Bengaluru (1 outlet in Whitefield) and will be in Manipal soon. Johnny Rockets are known for their ‘Made to Order Burgers’ & ‘Hand Spun Shakes’. We are also opening a new Barbeque Nation outlet in Calicut.