The restaurant business is quite a rewarding one IF the owner is able to “cook the right recipe”! Here are my 4 ingredients for cooking success with the right recipe from my years in the food business.

Ingredients for Success in the Restaurant Business

Hero Product

All successful brands are known for one “hero product” – Starbucks for Coffee, Pizza Hut for Pan Pizza, KFC for Fried Chicken … and closer home Paradise for Biryani! Their success is rooted in the excellence of these hero products – which in all these cases contribute to more than 50% of their business. So, if you want a successful restaurant brand – become known for one great product. Once you have achieved this, you can build a whole business around that.

Customer Centricity

It is extremely important to know your customers and understand their feedback about how you are doing. I call this “near-real-time voice-of-customer (VOC)”. The restaurant business is usually divided into dayparts – Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner. Great businesses are agile to the extent that the feedback of one day part feeds into the improvement for the next daypart. These days there are many digitally-enabled simple tools available to take customer feedback instantly. Deploy them from the very start.

How Will I make money?

From Day 1 there needs to be clarity on “how we will make money?”. A clear path to profitability is core to the very purpose of a business like this. It is amazing how many businesses fail because, while the owners are very passionate about food and service, they do not pay enough attention to having clarity about how the penny will find its way to the bank! Yes, there would be refinements from the initial assumptions as we move along, but having a clear oversight on this aspect is super critical.

Culture is Critical!

Great consumer businesses are built on great Execution and great execution is a result of great Culture. They say – “Execution eats Strategy for breakfast every day”. Culture must be driven right from the top – the owner himself or herself. If there is one aspect of business that cannot be delegated, it is this. Be clear about what your values are and how you want them to be translated into the culture of your business. It will create a positive differentiation for your brand in times to come.

Now that you have the right ingredients for success – I am sure you can’t wait to get going. All the best for an enjoyable and rewarding cooking experience in your restaurant business!

Author: Gautam Gupta, a NICE Friend, is the CEO of Paradise Biryani based in Hyderabad. His session at NICE Aarohana can be seen here. He can be reached at

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Published by Chitra Aiyer, NICE