Great Companies: How do you ensure your customers’ satisfaction? Ilamurugu K:We ask for guest feedback twice during the dining. The first one, we just check with them after 10 mins of the first appetizer's arrival. We ask "How is the taste of the food? Do let us know if you have any issues, we will get it changed." The second time is, when the guest has completed eating the entire course of meal, before they ask for the bill, we seek the feedback of their overall dining experience including all the food that was served to them. We take inputs on our improvement areas and make a note of it. Later during the end of day, the same issues will be discussed with the team and solutions will be discussed. Here we bring in inclusivity by making the customers a part of our system and we assure them that we are listening to them. Hence most of my business comes through referrals, which was why we reached out to become a BNI member. Great Companies: What are the amenities provided at cafe?
Ilamurugu K:Wi-fi, Board Games, we have a high end sound system with imported speakers installed (by a fellow BNI member Mr. Srenivasan of Mark Technologies, Coimbatore who is an expert in home theatre systems and the only company in the world to make customers experience all three formats of sound - Auro 3D, Dolby Atmos, DTS-X under one roof). So at our cafe, customers can play their own playlist from the mobile through our speakers, or watch their favorite web-series or Movies from Prime, Netflix streaming from our TV, while they enjoy our food Great Companies: How was your initial years? Kindly brief your journey. Ilamurugu K:It's been just over a year since we started this. Fine dining concept is not new to the market of Erode but the number of players are few, less than 10 we could say. There are multiple reasons for the same. People here prefer to open dining than a closed one. They want a play area for the kids and that should be in the vicinity from the dining, so that they can supervise the kids. They prefer of lot of local foods, compared to multi-cuisine formats. This was one of our biggest challenges so far to help them make a shift. We didn't invest enough in marketing since we were struggling with manpower and hence our focus was to establish a well-known brand rather than aiming for great top-line numbers.
Great Companies: There has been a huge rise in the number of cafes, what makes you unique and keeps you going in the race?
Ilamurugu K:Innovation - We introduce 5-6 recipes as special of the month. Say if we are planning for a Special of the month for may, we start working from April 1 with a calendar of events.
By 7th day of the month, we will ask the staffs to come up with a list of 8-10 dishes with recipes. We sit with them and brain storm to narrow down to 6 dishes by analysing the ingredient availability, affordability,etc.
By 15th of the month, we do in-house trials and try to improve the recipes.
By 20th of the month, we invite guests from outside for a feedback sharing session. They will be given each of the 6 dishes for tasting and they are supposed to rate the dishes on portion size, taste, presentation, a suggestive price and any other specific feedbacks.
By 24th of the month, we have a photography session for those dishes that are shortlisted. (To be used for Digital Promotions)
By 28th we will get a special menu card designed and printed. Attached are sample special of the month menu cards for your reference.
Education - We educate our customers on how each food is prepared, what are the ingredients used to cook it and how it tastes.
Both of the above put together along with our activities mentioned earlier in customer satisfaction, we make sure that no guest walks out without a smile. Hence we have carved out a niche for ourselves.
Great Companies: What programs can be conducted within the premises?
Ilamurugu K:We have a seperate banquet hall with a seating capacity of 70 people. Ideal for Birthday Parties, Get-togethers, Farewell, Customer Meets, Training Programs, Retirement Functions, 25th / 60th Wedding Anniversary Functions.
At the dining set-up, we do host women entrepreneurs workshop (fortnightly event), calligraphy Workshop (monthly event). We do have plans to conduct more such art work oriented workshops in the coming months.(Ideal for less than 20 people).