Multiskilling is important to cut costs and make the restaurants profitable, we should think ‘out of the box’: Anil Bhandari

Speaking at the 17th Chef Awards and 8th Knowledge Summit, Anil Bhandari, Chairman, Organising Committee Indian Culinary Forum shared words of wisdom and positivity to motivate the young talented new entrants of the industry.

Presenting the theme of the 8th Knowledge Summit, titled "Exploring New Horizons and Challenges: Perspectives on Opportunities, During these times, Anil Bhnadari said, “The Covid- 19 outbreak has triggered a crisis unprecedented in nature and scale and unlike anything that we have seen in our lifetime. For the first time in the history of mankind hotels and restaurants were closed for such a prolonged period of time. I personally feel that the crisis is bound to change the course of our lives dramatically. It has challenged many of the prevailing systems, beliefs and practices. I am of the view this major upheaval will give birth to a new world order. We all have realised that we need to discard outdated systems and adopt new ones. We also need to re-evaluate our priorities. The new mantra is sanitisation, hygiene and social distancing.  Those who adapt to the new normal will succeed.”

Speaking of the devastating impact that the coronavirus entailed on the hospitality industry, Bhandari said, “The impact on the Restaurant business in India has been such that it is estimated that 25 per cent of the restaurants may shut down permanently, resulting in an approximate loss of Rs 66,305 crore with nearly 40 per cent people losing their jobs. Salaries of those who are presently working have been cut from 20 per cent to 50per cent. This has created a lot of anxiety and stress for all.”

Reassuring the audience and sharing solutions, Anil Bhandari said, “In my view the most important thing is we should prepare ourselves and find solutions to survive and grow.We should upgrade ourselves and our associates physically i.e look after our physical health by having a balanced nutritious diet and exercising daily. We should be mentally strong and sharpen our skills to find solutions to the problems confronting us. Think positive and create positivity around us and look for ways and means to think about innovating new ways of doing business. As a lot of fear has been created by this pandemic, we need to be emotionally strong to face this challenge. Stay calm and be a more balanced human being. This could be done by practicing Yoga and Meditation. This is a temporary phase. I am sure we will get back to normal in a years’ time.”

Bhandari said that every adversity brings new opportunities too. It compels us to find solutions to the problems before us.

“As they say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention ‘This pandemic has also created new paradigms,” he said.  Spelling out the opportunities that lay ahead, Bhandari said, “Multiskilling is important to cut cost and make the restaurant profitable. We should think out of the Box, do not think of only restaurants, there are many other avenues of business. It is time for you all to innovate research and prepare some new immunity building dishes matching the taste of the new generation. Promote them through digital platform. The other one big opportunity we have is to convert 65 per cent of business from unorganised sector i.e. street vendors and Dhabas  to organised sector.By adopting high standards of sanitisation and hygiene and upgrading the vending units to look smart and attractive. You could now start Food Trucks recently permitted by Delhi Government.”

Furthermore he said, “Ready to eat food industry has huge potential presently is estimated to be Rs 2800 crore major players are ITC, MTR, VIPUL,Goderj and many more  This could be another avenue for you  to explore by creating new dishes. Since the Restaurants have been closed the Food delivery business is growing -The online food delivery market is expected to grow at a rate of 30 per cent it is estimated to be  Rs 1334 Crore  by  2022-24 . You could seize this opportunity to be in the food delivery business and start cloud kitchens. Home style food will be in vogue you could cook at home and send through Swiggy, Zamoto. The other opportunity could be in the Food Processing Industry which is a sunrise industry in India. It is presently valued at US$ 328 Billion and is likely to grow to US$ 535 billion. The Government is giving a lot of incentives and many food parks are being created. The Opportunity is to create preservatives Jam ,Jellies etc. The Ayurveda foods & Food biotechnology will be a new avenue of business which Ayush Ministry is promoting.”

He was speaking at the 17th Chef Awards and 8th Knowledge Summit.  Anil Bhandari began his address by thanking the members of the organising committee, Members of Jury, Sponsors, Members of Media, chefs and guests.

Bhandari said, “I congratulate the organising committee for holding the 17th Chef Awards and 8th Knowledge Summit, Child & Charity High Tea in spite of Covid19. Keeping in view the present times This year we have added a unique program ie online Live Cookery Demonstrations of immunity building 23 recipes for 23 days by reputed chefs from 3rd October Recipes going back to ancient times were prepared. My special thanks to Chef Gautam Chatterjee and his team of Chefs . This had viewership of .160.000 till date.”

Some of the big names from the F&B industry in attendance included Padmashri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, Vir Sanghavi, Dilip Puri, Rohit Khosla, Varinder Dutta, Rajan Bhadhur, Zorawra Kalra, Chef Devinder Kumar , R Kumar , Rajiv Gulshan and Shoeb Mohamad.

Thanking the team, Bhandari said, “We are delighted to have amongst ourselves Padma Shri Chef Sanjeev Kapoor Icon of the industry and inspiration for budding Chefs. Vir Sanghavi is a well known Critic and Food & Beverage expert. Every chef waits for Vir Sanghvi ‘ s Brunch every week which has something to learn from.We are Grateful to Dilip Puri , Founder & President of Indian School of Hospitality  for partnering with us .This 8thKnowledge summit has been curated by them. The ISH team did a great job in evaluating candidates for the Top Category Awards. Special Thanks to Rajiv Gulshan and Anupam Mukerjee.”

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