Good to see you opening this Blog and your Curiosity in reading it.
Let me give you 2 options. One is to go through this Quick presentation first and then read the Detailed Blog.
Other is to Read the Detailed Blog First and then have a look at this short presentation on our Marketing efforts.
Come what may, do not forget to have a glimpse at this PPT. 🙂
If you face any problems in watching this PPT due to internet connection then do open it in Slideshare
16 Feb 2016 it was.
I had been a great weekend because us weekend par mera Birthday bhi tha and Valentines day bhi.
Yesterday was Monday and jo picchle kuch dino ka kaam tha who kal aur aaj mein khatam kiya.
Since I was very tired I thought to sleep early so at 9 30pm I switched off the data of my phone for a peaceful sleep.
Some how…. The sleep was not forthcoming and that was unusual for me. Anyways, I thought not to push myself into it and switched on my Bed light& saath mein phone ka data bhi. 🙂
Among many FB notifications, one notification was from my friend Mankaran Bakshi. Mankaran Bhai had tagged me on some post and a few friends had liked it.
I immediately opened the Post and realised it’s a post by Priyank Sukhija Bhaiya and is about a concept called #BloggerBecomesBoss inviting bloggers to hold the fort at the restaurant for a day and do his/her bit by running it.
The adrenaline started rushing and my mind started wandering to various restaurants.
I penned down a few points and then slept araam se.
Next morning I finished the regular chores and then penned down my thoughts on how to create a Great Experience. An Experience I would Love.
I’m not fond of cooking so from very first moment my idea was to create a whole some experience.
I’m a person who may love to try different cuisines but still am connected to my upbringing. My Punjabi Food ka swaad & uss Khaane ki khushboo is what always pulls me.
Jab mein ghar aata tha Tution se ya kaam se… I never asked mummy ki khane mein kya bana hai, rather I could smell it and used to ask her ki Aloo Simla Mirch/Rajma Chawal, Aloo Gobhi bani hai and she used to confirm it. Always!
So, I was very clear with menu… It would be a mixture of what I want to eat and what I PRESUMED people may want to it but is not easily available in café’s or star Restaurants. With the combination of my Dishes and Experiences, I mailed my presentation to Bhaiya.
Hardly a day had passed and I received a reply that I have been selected for the contest and I would be meeting 15 other selected contestants at Tamasha on 2nd March
16 of us gathered at Tamasha & exchanged Pleasantries. I was friends with some of them pehle se and luch logo ko I was meeting for the first time. Each one was excited for the event and believe me kahi mujhe koi rivalry wali kahani nahi dikhi. A while later Priyank Bhaiya in a bright Red Tshirt came over and shared the reason behind #BloggerBecomesBoss and also explained all the rules of the event.
I realised that some of my efforts and focus on creating experiences would not work.
Saath hi sach kahu to Dil zor se dharakk bhi raha tha. I had created my menu as per Tamasha. Jab maine sab kuch likha… I was visualizing mein tamasha mein hu and how I would arrange everything. However main kahani yeh thi ki Tamsha is just one of the 5 restaurants & we may get a restaurant depending on a Lottery that was scheduled to happen then and there.
I knew my concept would not work at some of the mentioned restaurants.
However, then Priyank Bhaiya announced that if any 2 of you agree to swap your restaurants then you can.
Also, if anybody wishes so, then he can choose Flying Saucer too. I heard this closely even though I knew for me it shall be CP only and not any other place.
However, as Luck would have it, things changed. Read on how 🙂
Meri parchi par Hybrid likha tha. Samajh nahi aa raha tha ki what should I take this as.
I’ve been to hybrid and love the place, par pata nahi us time Vibes thore se confusing the.
I was still thinking about it and eating the super tasty Prawns and Tikkas with my Sprite/Vodka Combo. And then achanak I felt a hand on my shoulder asking “Kaunsa Mila”
It was Priyank Bhaiya. I replied “Hybrid”. He could sense my uneasiness and said “Flying Saucer karega”
Ab normal circumstances mein I would have said no. However, I also believe in the theory “If you are in Doubt, then risk it”. And When Priyank bhaiya asked it, I knew ki kahi koi signal hai and I said yes.
Bas jee Naam Likhwaya to the Super Talented Marketing Duo team of Devyani jee and Vineet Bhai for Flying Saucer. They asked me the date. Options were 25th March, 1st April or 8th April.
25th ka mood nahi tha… 8th was too late and 1st ka panga tha ki it was April Fools day. I knew that the communication to patrons could be misunderstood, However, again I risked it. Socha isme bhi kuch accha hoga. We shall plan our Marketing campaign around it.
Wapas Ghar aaya. So gaya. Sach kahu, usi raat se sapne mein Flying Saucer aana shuru ho gaya. However, Sab hazy tha. Kya hoga, kaise hoga… koi idea nahi.
For a few days I didn’t bother about it as abhi kaafi din the.
It was only after 20th March that I started planning.
Biggest relief was that I had already selected the dishes that wanted to make for the special day. And the only gap or bridge between that Concept and reality was the Chef who would help me give shape to my thoughts and plans.
Devyani jee connected me to the chef and I reached there on 23rd. The Chef was a Young gentleman named Sanjay and he had a bad throat that day. However, we were able to have good chat and I was able to share my vision with him. Because eventually it will be OUR vision and not just mine or his.
He said worry not and lets meet in a day again and I would get the ingredients ready.
Meeting wale din I kept calling him and he did not pick up the phone and eventually after 3 hours he said it’s not possible today as he was not well.
That made me wonder if things would go as planned. I know ki aisa hota hai… One needs to convince Chef’s, Servers to work for you nahi to woh kisi ki nahi sunte and uski to bilkul nahi sunte jo routine se hattkar kuch kaam karwa raha hai. Jaise ki mein 🙂
Anyways, we fixed up a time for 3 days later and I reached there on time. Realised Chef was not there. I kept looking at my watch and some of my instincts told me to call Priyank Bhaiya and complain.
Par then it struck me that He would be facing similar problems too and that’s what he wants us to experience and also find solutions for these problems our selves.
Bas yeh socha change hi ki saamne se masti mein jhoomte hu Humare chef sahib aa gaye.
Chalo, pehle aapko btate hai ki menu kya banaya tha maine.
Drink mein Simple….
I’m a Vodka Guy and love my vodka with Sprite and some Cranberry juice ya koi aur juice. However, that would be too plain jane and dekhne mein bhi maza nahi ayega. So I thought ki lets replace Cranberry with Pomegranate juice and add some Lime juice too for taste. Look to abhi bhi same hi thi, but I knew we want to add some pomegranate pieces in it and garnish the drink with mint leaf.
Dimaag mein clear tha ki either it shall be a tall glass ya fir Mason jar. And finally Mason jar hi select hua.
I wanted people should not waste the pomegranate pieces so I decided ki traw shall be with a bigger hole so that one could suck the pomegranate pieces with the straw only and not separately with spoon.
Since it was Vodka and Anaar, we called it Vod’nar 🙂
I love Desi Ghee mein bana khana and yeh soch hi raha tha ki Amristar mein khayei hoye Devi Paneer Bhandar ka Desi ghee wala paneer yaad aa gaya. And I knew ki yehi banayenge. It was a risky choice as the paneer I wanted had just some coating of the batter. We knew that even a 5% more batter would make it a Pakora and kill the entire concept. I shared this with Chef and he got my point and did the needful. I was very clear on the size of Paneer cubes and also that the number of pieces we would serve would not be less than 12. We wanted the diner to feel that the quantity is MORE than usual. To go with it as per Marketing, I wanted to have 2 Desi Chutneys and 2 Videshi Dips. Usme bhi I knew ki one has to be tamarind Chutney/Saunth and the other Mint Sauce. While eating the first bite of the dish I asked Chef if he can make Mint Sauce and Hot Garlic Sauce and bas voila… Humari dish teyarr. Amritsari Paneer with 2 Desi and 2 Videshi Dips
Non Veg Starters:
I knew it has to be two. And sach batau we decided the names before deciding the final Dish!
So one was Chicken Tikku and other was called Chikna Chicken.
Chicken tikku would be a Chicken Tikka with some added herbs and Cream.
Chikna Chicken was my version of Honey Glazed Chicken.
Ab Dikkat yahaan shuru hui. I wanted Chicken Tikku to be a Malai Tikka. Par Flying Saucer is not really an Indian Restaurant so they have a grill and not a tandoor. And Tikka bane to kaise?
Anyways we tried the first batch and realized ki White Tikka portion is turning Black and that was not very pleasing to eye. It was then decided to use the normal Tikka wali marination with our secret sauce and that came out amazingly well. Taste bhi aur look bhi.
Ab ek kahani aur. Some days back I got connected to Gagan Sachdeva Bhai. He is one of the best and biggest suppliers of Kitchen Equipments and Crockery/Dishes to many restaurants. He too nominated me for #BloggerBecomesBoss on the very first day.
After a few days he messaged me to and offered Support. I told him about my Chicken Tikku and he shared a pic of a Sword on which the Tikkas could be served in a Royal as well as Eye catching way. Bas I requested him that I would want 15 of them and he was super kind to give them to me without charge on returnable basis. I always believe ki jab aap acche ho to aapko aur acche log milte rehte hai and he is one of them. Thanks Bhai.
Bas ab to maza aa gaya tha. Chicken Tikku bhi final.
Ab baari aayi Chiknna Chicken ki and I realised ki is kitchen mein woh ban’na mushkil hai. So we brainstormed for a few minutes and came up with an idea of Crunchy chicken. Bas fir thora socha vocha and final kiya Kurkura Chicken. A Chicken breast sliced from centre and then covered with our special batter and then rolled over the crumbs of Spring Roll Sheet and fried. Oh my god, What a Beauty it turned out to be. And before we could think on how to present it, Krishna the Super efficient hand at Flying Saucer came up with a Margarita glass and placed the Chicken on a bed of juicy salad.
Saath mein we made Honey mustard Dip and the combination was killer.
Humne mehnat bahut ki par with god’s grace zyada problems nahi aayi till the Main Course.
Ab iska naam maine rakha tha Peshwari Jugal bandi. Peshawar isliye kyuki my grandparents belonged from Peshawar and also because I’ve heard people there eat lots of dry fruits and I wanted my main course gravy to be made with Cashews, Raising etc. I wanted it to be rich gravy and har bite ke saath banda Wah Wah bole. Jugalbandi isliye kyuki I wanted it to be a single dish that had Mutton Seekh pieces as well as Chicken Tikka pieces. Ek garrai mein Chicken ka swaad aur doosre mein Mutton ka swaad.
However, Chef Sahib told me that cooking both in same gravy would spoil the taste.
And as it is people order less of Red meat less and that could jeopardize my effort in this dish so I decided to have it only in chicken and tabhi a Friend of mine called. I took his call and informed him that I’m creating the menu for BloggersBecomesBoss and he said “Hum Vegetarians ka dhyaan rakhna” and bas dimaag ki batti jali and we experimented the same gravy with Paneer too. And usko khaakar to mein bhi Wah Wah Wah kehne laga.
So, here we finalised a main Course both in veg as well as Non veg. Th dish was served with mlabar Parotta. Peshawari Chicken- Peshwarai Paneer
Ab last reh gayi humari dessert and it was CLOSE to my heart. The Dish name I finalsied was “Rasmalai Khasa’m-Khas”. Ab I have to admit, No Food item gives me a high as much as Rasmalai does. Kuch khaas hai isme. Kuch Khaandaani, kuch Aspirational, kuch Royal touch. However aajkal to restaurants mein sirf Bannofie Pie, Tiramisu, Cheesecake, Brownie with Ice cream and Gulab Jamun hi milte hai. I decided to serve Rasmalai with my twist.
And the twist was to serve it not in Normal karra hua dhoodh but in Daanedaar Malaidaar Rabbri.
And that too presented in a Martini glass. Rabbri ek din pehle hi bana li thi and usko try karte karte mein 4 spoons aise hi kha gaya. Bas fir humne Rabri ki ek layer lagayi glass mein and then added Rasmalai ka piece and then covered it with more rabrri. Taste was good par dekhne mein maza nahi aa raha tha.
We decided to add some Kesar syrup to it. However, since usme koi binding agent nahi hota, it was flowing like water. Bas fir dimaag mein ek ajab khyaal aaya aur chef ne Chocolate ki Botal ko uthaya.
First he took a Margarita glass and sqeeezed some random lines inside the glass, uske baad uppar daali rabbri and then uske uppar rasmalai and then fir rabbri and then we mixed some rabbri with chocolate and created a layer of Chocolate rabbri over the top and uske uppar we sprayed some more chocolate sauce and topped it with a cherry. Uffff… Pyaa rhi ho gaya tha mujhe usse to.
And yeh ho gayi humari Rasmalai Khasa’m-Khas ready
Bas Muskurate hue bahar nikle and aaj kaafi din baad I could spot an extra Hop in my step.
Abhi bas bahar hi aaye the and we were told by Bar Incharge that he can give us only 6 Magarita/ Martiniglasses as he would need the balance for his routine drinks. Ek baar socha is bare mein but then dil ko araam diya.. Dekhi jayegi. Worst Case Scenario mein we shall buy 24 glasses. 🙂
On the Last day we had 50 Extra glasses…… Priyank Bhaiya arranged for 20 of them on my request and since we were on the edge, I too bought 24 for safety sake as the show had to go on, whatsoever.
On the final day, we used official wale glasses and returned mere wale.
In the entire process my colleague Anu Rishi was a big support and handled a lot of work due to which I was able to focus on my areas that required by presence.
Ek zaroori pehlu tha Marketing ka because our marks were based on them too. Also, jab aap mehnat karo then you want more and more people to enjoy the fruits of your labour 🙂
So we did a SWOT Analysis
- 1st April is celebrated as April Fools Day. We could market it
- Generally that is when people get salary so people may love to come out and spend
- It’s a Friday
- The Place is well known
- A Big Space
- Also that 1st April is first day of new Financial year
- People could take our Advertising as April Fool Prank
- Friday is also a power Packed Hiten Pawar Night at TFC and may have lots of walkins but mostly on a Fixed package so may not try our stuff
- The Music would be loud so it shall be difficult for me to talk to Diners and tell them about our creations.
- Even the Service would be hit in such kind of rush.
- It was not only far from my home however it was also far for my friends in North, West and Central Delhi who would have loved to come to try my creations. So I would loose a few walkins and hence sales.
Anyways, we had to make the best of it as kuch na kuch to chalta rahega.
So we decided on following
- I announced the event much in advance so that people could plan their schedules and the love that poured was amazing. One of them was when Madhup bhaiya mentioned that “He would come irrespective of Rain or Sunshine”
- Then we finalised that hashtag should not be only me but combo of me and Restaurants and decided it to be #TikkuTFS
- I really wanted to feel and display the character and wanted to wear a Chef’s jacket for the photo. However that would mean investing Rs 4000 in a Garment that I may never wear again. So I requested my Designer Anika Mehta to use my mugshot and make me wear a Chef’s coat and she executed that beautifully and added my character to the entire pose.
- One thing I noticed is that people were thinking that #TikkuTFS is my event and it would be a Free event or a Concessional one. So to avoid any misunderstanding we mentioned “Regular Prices, Unique Experience” and that worked very well.
- For reservations we were facing some problems so we invested in a new Mobile number (That we are using now for other purpose) and asked people to whatsapp their reservations. That too worked and any queries that people had were addressed on Whatsapp too apart from other mediums.
- We knew that sales would be tough after 9 pm because of sound and Party packages so we thought to utilize the Lunch time and hence born was the campaign “Ghar ki Lakshmi”. Under this campaign we convinced people that if you treat your Ghar ki lakshmi on the first day of the financial year 2016-2017 then Asli wali Lakshmi Mata bhi khush rahengi. And we mentioned that the person could get any B. Means his Biwi, Beti, Bhabhi, Behen, Baa or Babe J . this became a Big talking Point and did get us 4 tables. J If budgets would have allowed we would have promoted it more.
- We also got Standees for our event made and placed one at Flying Saucer Entrance and other in the Epicuria complex. This served in 2 ways. One people entering the café knew something different was happening & were willing to experiment. And secondly, people going to Chatter House, Benihana or other places in the complex saw that some thing different is happening at Flying Saucer and hence came inside to try our stuff. One such customer going to Chatter house confirmed this 🙂
- For marketing we used all platforms be it Fb Page, FB group, Twitter Instagram, Whatsapp, MailChimp, Blog and Blog Ads for the event.
- We were also lucky that few people came in early and shared our food pics that influenced many others to come and try our fare.
We have to thank Rocket Science Specialty as the tent cards they created had a huge Impact on our sales and helped us use the tent card kept on the table as an ice Breaker while talking to the diners.
However on our end we ensured that every body who enters gets a Welcome Aboard card with our event details, Hashtags and menu too. This helped in getting few orders and many people carried it back.
We also gave everyone a Thank you card with our Hashtag and details so that they can review our experience/Food at their free will.
Overall we made all arrangements to have fun ourselves and also to give great experience to our diners and their smiles, Posts, pics, Testimonials and Repeat orders make us relieved that we didn’t let any one down rather we could be a part of their day and make it a memorable one.
This is what I wrote raat ko
“”Raat ko Shareer thak gaya tha par muskurahat kayam thi.
Muskurahat kayam hone ki kayi wajah thi
*I was trying something for the first time
*From the very day the journey started aap sabne meri haunsla-afzahi ki and sent me good vibes and wishes.
*I unearthed a new side of me
*Met many strangers today and told them to try Tikku Special Menu. Kuch Bengali the,Kuch Punjabi, Kuch Orissa se,Kuch Assam ke and Kuch Japan ke bhi…. par the language that worked was of smile. Jisko approach kiya un sabne order kiya and fir repeat order kiya
* So many of my friends turned up leaving important work or engagements… and the reason was just to be on my side when I was taking some baby steps it into this new territory for just one day.
* Pata chal gaya ki accha Khana banane ke liye sabse mahatpoorn ingredient hai Muskurahat. And kal I could see all smiling faces inaide the Kitchen
* At one table 5 Ladies were sitting and I asked them to try Vod’Nar. Eventually one of them agreed. And the after 10 mins when I was at the table to serve Chicken Tikku, I realised that they have ordered 4 more. That is when my Smile was the widest
* Staff ne itna pyaar diya ki Accountant said Sir aap kal bhi ayenge na… “Acchi Raunak lag gayi hai aapse”
* Each dish of ours was a story in itself… Banane se lekar Presentation tak… aur Naam se lekar uske picche ke concept tak. And that story was self explainatory.
*Kuch Dosto ne kaha.. aaj ke baad jab bhi Talwar dekhenge.. Chicken Tikku ki yaad aayegi J
I could list down 100 more reasons and thank 100 more people. Par woh Blog mein and unki post mein.
Par need to Thanks priyank Bhaiya for this concept and for making me part of this awesome Journey that shall remain a Beautiful memory for Life.
Food Pics Courtesy Mandeep Singh Chadha. Thanks Bhai 🙂