Ahead of September's Restaurant Development Conference, GulfHost speaks with Sanjit Advani

Director, myGovinda's Restaurants

Concept

We launched myGovinda’s 16 years ago because we have a passion for food and we believe strongly in the ethical values of vegetarianism. We don’t just serve vegetarian food, we serve food that is nutritious and that nourishes the body, mind and soul. The demand for meat-free food has increased significantly in the past 5 years as people become more aware of their health and fitness.

Something else that differentiates us from other Indian restaurants is the addition of a strictly oil free menu, in which not even a drop of oil, butter or ghee is added to our cuisine. Using good quality, fresh ingredients and authentic Indian spices ensures the food does not need to rely on oil to taste good.

Evolving consumer tastes

We operate two branches of myGovinda’s in Dubai. Our first restaurant launched in Karama and we now manage a second outlet in Jumeirah. Many customers who favour the vegan and gluten free options are Western expats from the USA and Europe. However we are seeing that customer base grow and become more diverse as more people learn about the health benefits associated with natural food.

Location

Location is one of the most important variables to consider when opening a restaurant. Depending on your concept, you may have to pay a premium to guarantee high footfall. Customers in Dubai are willing to travel at least 10km for the right experience which is why it is our job to ensure our customers get the perfect service and the best quality food every time. Some of our regular customers travel all the way from Abu Dhabi once a week to experience the myGovinda’s taste and attention to detail, which Time Out describe as “fine-dining service in a down-to-earth spot.”  Affordable, healthy food with great service is what our customers come back for – that is our USP.

Marketing

Online food delivery has become very popular in the UAE because busy people can be reluctant to leave the home or workplace for their food. Working with online food delivery companies like Deliveroo is gaining popularity in many regions. It gives restaurants exposure to an alternative clientele base and eliminates the need to hire your own driver. These sales may provide a lower profit margin compared to those coming from your own website or social media channels, but this can be offset as a marketing expenditure required to reach new customers.

Why I’m attending Dubai International Hospitality Week
on 18 – 20 September 2017

Dubai International Hospitality Week is bringing together experts from within the industry, enabling us to learn from each other, see current food and beverage trends and understand the direction in which the regional hospitality industry is headed. For me, GulfHost is a practical opportunity to collaborate, share tips on what is working and find new ways to improve our business as our busiest period approaches.

Free registration for the GulfHost Restaurant Development Conference will be open online soon. Free Tickets for 3 full days of events running at Dubai International Hospitality Week are available now. Get your free ticket here