"Creativity Without Profitability is Useless," Says this Celebrity Chef cum Entrepreneur
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For entrepreneurs who enter restaurant business, understanding consumer behavior, habit and their ever-changing choices, could get difficult. But for chefs, it could be the easiest thing to go about business.
Often we hear a lot about the entrepreneurial journeys and challenges of restauranteurs and foodpreneurs, but hardly do we talk about the stories of those who work behind-the-counters in kitchens.
In a chat with Entrepreneur India, Ranveer Brar, an Indian celebrity chef, a popular TV host and an entrepreneur, shared a chef’s perspective on becoming a game changer in the food industry.
“Today’s Market is Millennial-centric”
Known for his cool temperament and a unique approach to food, Masterchef Ranveer Brar said today’s millennials are the drivers of the business of tomorrow. Talking about the increasing number of cafes and theme-based restaurants in the market, Brar said "you have to understand first what are their choices are and you will have to accommodate them with their choices. That’s why a concept like FLYP@MTV is received well in the market.”
The menu of the popular food chain FLYP@MTV, which is wooing lot of millennials today with its unique culinary and theme, has been created by Brar.
Besides being a celebrated chef in and outside India, Brar owns a restaurant called “TAG Kitchen and Cella” in Mumbai.
On asking what led him to an entrepreneurial journey, Brar said all of us eventually realize that what we are doing for others, we could do it for ourselves too. And that’s where the idea of opening a restaurant came in the picture. “I thought if I am using my brains, expertise, skills, and experience for others then I can do it for myself too. I was happy to make this decision and it worked out well for me.”
Recalling the initial challenges he faced in business, the chef said understanding of retail and marketing are two very important aspects of businesses.
He added that chefs are the real creators. They come with a one-sided bent of mind as they don’t know about the nuances of selling something to the end-consumers. For chefs, it’s necessary to learn these aspects first and then try his hands into business.
Learning that helped from the shutdown of first restaurant
Brar shared that lack of understanding about retail led to the shut-down of his first restaurant in the US that made him realize that creativity without profitability is useless.
While talking about how his celebrity status has helped him in setting up a niche food business, he said, “I don’t understand the concept of celebrity chefs. I am a regular traveller, I travel for food. Sometimes it’s behind the cameras, and when it’s in front of cameras, I am a celebrity travel chef. We should be celebrities because we are great professionals at what we do and not why we come on television.”
Brar has been on many popular TV shows as host, judge and food stylist. Breakfast Xpress, Snack Attack, Homemade, The Great Indian Rasoi, Health Bhi Taste Bhi, Ranveer's Cafe, Food Tripping and Thank God It's Fryday are to name a few. He was also one of the judges for season four of MasterChef India, along with renowned chefs Sanjeev Kapoor and Vikas Khanna.
“Business is about what consumers want and what you want to sell”
Talking about consumer psychology in food and restaurant business, Brar said, “for food, it’s important to know what consumers want, but it’s also important not to just give them what they want.
He added that food is the balance of what consumers want and what you want to sell. And today there has to be a certain aspiration, certain newness behind your any cuisine or concept in market. Otherwise, it’s like there is no expression left in the business.