“The market for eating out in India will grow to a whopping Rs 4.98 trillion by 2021, from the present Rs 3.09 trillion”He is the man behind three of Bengaluru’s uber chic restaurants that are eulogised for their carefree ambience, rocking music, dedicated dance floors and lip-smacking cuisines. Gurpreet Singh, better known by his childhood moniker Lucky, is one of Startup City’s most enterprising entrepreneurs. In a tete-a-tete with RITZ, the young restaurateur talks about bringing in innovative concepts and spreading his wings beyond Bengaluru.
Lucky Singh is a super busy guy these days. The Punjabi munda has been shuttling between India’s Silicon Valley and Maximum City. Ask him why and he is quick to reply. “I am planning to take Loft 38 to Mumbai. By say April or May next year.” So now the well-heeled and food-loving folks of Mumbai would get another fancy new destination to relax and hang out. In Bengaluru, Loft 38, which Lucky started in 2013 in the heart of the city’s party scene, is a place boasting of sleek décor that buzzes with music and offers cuisines from across the globe. Ditto for Lucky’s other two restaurants, Dishoom, which he started last year, and Loveshack, which marked his foray into the restaurant business over six years ago.
“The market for eating out in India will grow to a whopping Rs 4.98 trillion by 2021, from the present Rs 3.09 trillion”
“I have always been attracted towards this industry. My aim is to have people eat the best food over some rocking music,” says the man who jumped into the restaurant business immediately after completing his MBA by starting Loveshack, a funky terraced resto-bar.
Even though there weren’t any particular triggers which propelled his entry into the world of food and beverages, it was his gut instinct that the eating out business will not just survive, but thrive almost at all times, what with the growing number of young professionals looking to grab a quick bite or linger over a leisurely meal and bond with friends and family. “Bengaluru is mushrooming at a rapid pace when it comes to the food and beverage businesses and has a lot of scope to grow further, at least in the next five to seven years.” Lucky is indeed lucky, as his views are echoed by veteran restaurateurs who have put together a report, India Food Services 2016, which predicts that the market for eating out in India will grow to a whopping Rs 4.98 trillion by 2021, from the present Rs 3.09 trillion. What’s more, it further states that people on an average spend anywhere from Rs 4,000 – 8,000 a month on dining out or ordering in.
“Multiple opportunities exist. It all depends on how we leverage those opportunities to grow our business and flourish,” says the 20-something businessman.
Apart from innovating various mouth-watering concoctions that appeal to people from all walks of life, Lucky is planning on introducing a new concept at Dishoom to lure in more of the corporate and office crowds, a promising segment that frequently dines out on the weekdays. Dabbawallah lunch, just about to start in a while, would offer a three-course meal comprising a starter, a main course and dessert; all served in a tiffin box. This compact lunch could probably be a welcome breather from the table-long never-ending buffets, also being lighter on the stomach (and pocket).
Any given day of the week, the footfalls at Loft 38, Dishoom or Loveshack are pretty impressive. While over a 100 could easily be dining in at each of the restaurants on a working day, during weekends, footfalls hover around 700. “Attracting customers means keeping on innovating with the menu, providing pleasant service and conversing with diners like you do with your friends. This helps in establishing a bond and building a long-term relationship,” says Lucky, whose business is witnessing a growth rate of 10% per annum.
“My one goal is to have a chain of restaurants across India and gradually boast of an international presence”
Like in any venture, challenges do exist and in the eating out business, impressing upon customers is perhaps the biggest challenge. Lucky agrees that satisfying customers is a tough task. It is mighty difficult to ensure that the food, décor, ambience, music and service find favour with each and every diner. “To get more people acquainted with the three brands, we are promoting the restaurants through social media.”
Though a foodie, Lucky doesn’t really cook and considers his mom’s mutton curry and rice as the best meal he’s ever had. “For me, my mother is the best chef in the world.” As he charts out the blueprint to take Loft 38 to Mumbai, he is also simultaneously exploring options to take his brands to Chandigarh, and maybe even go international with Dubai.
“My one goal is to have a chain of restaurants across India and gradually boast of an international presence,” states Lucky with utmost confidence.
Good luck on that, Lucky!