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Premium vegetarian restaurant chain Vasanta Bhavan opens a new restaurant on a franchise basis in London on July 7th as it increases its presence worldwide. This restaurant has been in plans for the past half a year. The preliminary work on selecting the spot and hiring manpower was done prior to Covid.
“We wanted to launch this as it had been in the work for over a year and a half. We did a soft launch with less advertisement using only social media to promote. We were able to open the restaurant only due to the better scenario in the UK,” said Vasanta Bhavan’s Executive Chairman, Ravi Muthukrishnan.
‘Namma Veedu’ Vasanta Bhavan, has been in the food business for nearly five decades. The restaurant was launched in a small set-up in Tiruchirappalli way back in 1969 before its founder A. Muthukrishnan expanded with a second outlet in Chennai in 1974. It has over 16 franchises across Tamil Nadu today and used to serve over 30,000 customers across its outlets daily, until last March. The restaurant is also present in Malaysia, Qatar, Oman, UK, and the USA.
He added that by the end of this year at least two to three more restaurants would come in the United States of America, Canada, and United Kingdom. He further added opening new doors during this tough is challenging as there has been a lot of restriction in movements.The chefs from the new restaurant had been trained for 15 days, few days prior to their launch. But the challenge, only those with existing visa were brought in for training. The other staff members, kitchen assistants were trained using video conferencing tools. “Well, this had its own perks, I would say. It reduced the expenses that would have been incurred for each member’s training. But it still took away the personal training experience,” added Mr Ravi.
He further added that the hospitality sector situation is better in other countries than in India. The foreign government has taken away many fixed cost burdens from the business which allowed the business a much better-going concern. Whereas the situation in India for the sector, get bleaker day by day.
“Our business situation has been dire since last March. In fact, we are almost incurring losses since last March. It’s extremely difficult to retain our manpower and there is no support from banks or the government,” said Mr Ravi, from a previous interview with ChefBharath.com. “Usually, we have 50 people on the payroll. But since only parcels are permitted (since the lockdown), there is only a need for 10 persons. Most of our local employees have left for their native places, set to return after things get normal. The migrant workforce, the majority whom we depend on, is staying in rooms. Since they don’t have work, I fear they could contract Corona if they roam outside,”
He further added that without any support from the State or the Union government, the industry would die on a daily basis. It has been more than a year and a half since the pandemic started. The restaurants were not able to function due to the lockdown rules, fear among the consumers. More than 100 restaurants have shut their doors permanently due to pandemics, reported by the Hindu.
“I request the government to help out the industry. We are still a poor sector and the most affected one in the past year and a half. We are all struggling to make ends meet and we are running out of funds to keep our doors open. Without any help, we and the industry would crumble,” said Mr. Ravi.
Best wishes to Vasantha Bhavan. ‘Malligha’ compounded Asafoetida, From the house of M.A.C (www.asafoetida.in).For details and free samples in the HoReCa segment, contact: +91 9943441147