Noel D’Souza: food industry consultant

Tell us about your journey so far and the problems you had to face.

Coming from a background of hospitallers and chefs I was always curious about food and flavors. As a kid, I use to love food and explore more about it. My grandma was a chef in Mumbai and I use to visit her during my summer vacations. She owned a small bakery and as a chubby kid, her kitchen was my wonderland.

As I grew around food I decided to become a chef at a very early stage of my life. I joined a culinary institute to pursue my honors degree in the hospitality industry. Starting my journey as a continental chef I soon realized my love for Indian cuisine. While working for big brands I learned the art of cooking and knowledge about Indian culture. India; a vast country where the taste of water changes every 15 km has a diverse history of food and spices.

After a few years of working for big brands, I began my new journey working for renowned stand-alone brands. While working for these brands I realized some great issues which led to the closing of small restaurant startups. I realized that investing in a restaurant was easy but lack of entrepreneurial skills and hospitality knowledge these restaurants were turning up. Issues such as finance management, new product innovation, standardization of the recipes, staffing & training, and most important smart marketing, led to great losses.

How did you come up with the idea of Consultancy and what effect has it brought?

The idea for creating a consultancy company came in an instance where I had opened a gourmet fast food brand and with changing structure in the industry I couldn’t cope with my business. So I realized it’s easy to put in money but without a good team, things can’t run by themselves. We came up with the idea that we would provide people with all our knowledge and experience about running their food business and providing them with the best team.

Initially, I started with one outlet which was owned by a friend. I and my partner started handling the operations and production part with keeping in mind all the standard operating procedures. Creating all the standards and digitalizing the backend part where we would get all day-to-day costing and revenue reports. My knowledge of Indian regional cuisine became a hit in a 150-cover restaurant with 3x sales in a span of 2 years. They say ‘if you can make a dollar you can make millions’ so we started taking restaurants, and café under our management and delivering profits to our clients.

What were the difficulties that you faced and how did you overcome them?

We had the same issues initially that we had during the opening of our own brand; staffing, training, and organizing the optimum utilization of all the resources. But what came in handy was our experience. Knowing the new trends and becoming a trendsetter is what we have achieved now.

Where do you see yourself after five years?

Handling food outlets across Delhi- NCR, Rajasthan, and Himachal we have learned a lot about the society and the adverse effect of new trends. With the fast-moving culture, there is no place for same old boring menus. We keep ourselves on our toes to generate new ideas and make it a reality.

with my vast expanding team see myself taking these stand-alone and competing with big brands and standing beside them to welcome the world and taking Indian hospitality as a benchmark for others. 

Once you’ve built up yourself as a brand, are there any changes that you’d make in your productions?

I strive to give my best to my clients and make them earn a name in the industry. My only motto is to build a brand that provides a great hospitality experience to my clients. Post covid the only change I want is to generate more revenue for sit-out food outlets by providing the best customer satisfaction whether in terms of service or food.

Do you think advertising on Social media will help your business to grow?

Post covid the world is turning to digitalization. I believe there is more reach in digital than traditional methods. Connecting the youth can provide you more visibility and the best way is to take your brand on social media.

Is there any advice you want to give to budding entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurship comes from within. It’s something you only learn from your failures. Even though I have failed a lot but have never given up. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs the only thing I’ve learned is always love what do and you’ll always achieve new heights. Take smart decisions, have patience in whatever you do, and try to take the best out of everything. If plan A doesn’t work you still have 25 options left to succeed.

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