Secret Sauce – Winning Menu, New Age Media, Fundraising and more


This article contains information regarding many topics relevant to Restaurant business discussed during Secret Sauce conference.  The event happened at Taj MG Road, Bangalore on 2nd Jul’19.

  • Panel Discussions
    • Curating Winning Menu for Bangalore
    • 10 Ideas to Turnaround Restaurants / Cafes
    • Influences of New Age Media on F&B Industry
  • Fundraising for Restaurant & Cafes
  • Automating Billing Solutions
  • Redefining Diary Business in India – Akshayakalpa
  • Latest Trends in Café & Brewing – Kaapi

Panel Discussion: Curating Winning Menu for Bangalore

Moderator – Suresh Hinduja (Food Critic & Consultant)

Nimish Bhatia (Chef Consultant), Abhijit Saha (Chef Fava & Caperberry), Naren Thimmiah (Executive Chef at Karavalli, Gateway) & Saby Gorai (Consulting Chef)

This was an amazing session which started off with every Chef sharing their personal experiences.  They shared insight into some various aspects of menu-design and came out with thoughts like.

  • Chefs should be part of the restaurant that will give more responsibility. Everyday the Chef will need to ensure that the people working with him deliver the best food.
  • Menu for a restaurant should be good enough for the Kitchen to handle. It does not help having elaborate menu that can’t be managed by the team.
  • Restaurant end up multiple chains across different areas in a city. Its best to have a centralized kitchen to ensure the consistency of the taste & flavors.
  • When starting a restaurant, the owners should not interfere much into decision making of consultant.

Panel Discussion: 10 Ideas to Turnaround Restaurants / Cafes

Moderator – Rupa Balachander (Food Show Host & Editor G2K)

Abraham Jacob (F&B Consultant and Partner at Recode Hospitality), Yogesh Mokashi (Found, Egg Factory), Rajneesh Gandhi (Founder Pappu Chaiwala), Chirag Yadav (Founder, Chaipatty Teafe)

There are plenty of aspect that one needs to take care before opening and after opening.  This discussion focussed on various problem faced in the business and the solutions.  All the panellists shared personal experiences and many thoughts came out.

  • Its necessary to look at various legal aspects regarding the building before setting up a new place.
  • When identifying a new place, do background study to predict if the place will do business.
  • Predict the timeframe the business will be able to break-even. If the place isn’t doing good, its better to sell off and venture and do something new.
  • Handle your own Social Media handles so the customer will connect with you as an owner.
  • Do not plan on opening multiple outlets unless you have a good plan for every one of the them.
  • In case the business isn’t doing good, analyse if the reason is within or outside. In case it’s to do with customers, identify if the taste, price-expectation and make corrections accordingly.
  • Understanding the bottom-line is very important for successful eatery.

Panel Discussion: Influences of New Age Media on F&B Industry

Moderator: Shrabonti Bagchi (Senior Editor, HT Mint Newspaper)

Namita Gupta (Regional Editor, Ritz Magazine), Monika Manchanda (Blogger & Food Consultant), Nivedith Gajapathy (Social Media Influencer)

This was one of the very important discussion for every restaurant to understand.  The topics discussed were very interesting.  Few things that came out of the discussion that I will highlight.

  • Its necessary to bring in some variety to discussion one place to another.
  • The Restaurant/café needs to focus on serving tasty food rather than focus on presentation.
  • Need for restaurant owners to seek feedback and improve.
  • Adapt to the growing trends and bring home the concepts popular across the globe.
  • Avoid seeking instant gratification on the product delivered.
  • Focus on serving good food rather than keeping a high rating

Fundraising for Restaurant & Cafes

Speaker – Saurabh Mehta (Investor& CEO, Gingko)

This session covered various aspect related to funding that not known to many.

Right Recipe for Funding – Founding Team, Good Concept/Idea, Operational Expertise, Location Plan, Process Driven & Vision.

He gave some of the example of the big companies that have funded few big brands.

  • Catterton acquired majority stake in Impresario (Smoke House Deli, Saltwater, Social) with 375 Crore funding.
  • SAIF Partners, Integrated Capital invested 81 crores in CHAAYOS.
  • Gaja Capital invested 120 Crore in Rajdhani & Falafel.
  • Rabo Equity invested 100 Crore on Olive Beach & kitchen.

How to Approach Angel Investors in India?

  • Prepare your pitch
  • Have your product/service prototype
  • Find an angel investor
  • Present confidently

Automating Billing Solutions

Team SlickPOS shared a lot of info about the billing system and how the company can help new restaurant owners.

Redefining Diary Business in India

It was a short session in which the Akshaykalpa team shared about the company and share info about the various achievement.  They mentioned about coming up with a model to enable every farmer to make good money by supplying milk regularly.  The brand started selling milk and now have established themselves into a multi-crore business.  They also sell many other diary products like ghee, cheese, curds and more.

Latest Trends in Café & Brewing – Kaapi

The makers of high-end coffee machine from the brand Kaapi, shared info about the changing trends.  They mentioned about the increase in cold brews across the world and need for serving quality coffee.

They also had a stall and let the guests taste of the coffee made from their machine.  A special mention about the Ripple machine that is draw a picture on the coffee foam that looks good.

More Information

Secret Sauce – Behind a Successful Restaurant