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The CEO Magazine
A monthly magazine for business leaders and decision makers

Biryanis and more: Catering an exceptionally exotic belend of authentic Indian and Mexican Cuisines

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BIRIYANIS AND MORE, CATERING AN EXCEPTIONALLY EXOTIC BLEND OF AUTHENTIC INDIAN AND MEXICAN CUISINES

It all began with a simple idea that was born with the desire to take the hugely famous Biryani to the desi populace of the Unites States of America.Little did one think then that what would follow in the years to come was the expansion into a massively popular food chain that gained the love and loyalty of not just the desi customers but also the videsi crowds of a foreign country.

There is no denying that the Indian cuisine is a champion when it comes to a mouth-watering combination of intoxicating flavours and delectable creamy sauces. It’s no wonder then that ‘Biryanis and More’, a concept crafted for Indian customers living abroad, has become one of high regard in quality satisfaction and service over its years of service. And anyone who has had a taste of their food and service can vouch for the fact that they have mastered the great expertise required to create the fine taste of the culinary marvel that a palatable plate of the Indian food is.

Started under the hegemony of Mr. Ramanaidu Suryadevara, Biryanis and More is part of the several restaurant chainsthat run under his umbrella in the US. Headquartered in Vijayawada, ‘Biryanis and More’ has been serving the ever-increasing epicurean, gastronomic populace of India with branches in Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Guntur, Tenali, Bengaluru, Kakinada, Bhimavaram, Rajahmundry, Vishakapatnam,Visakhapatnam, Mangalagiri and Vizianagaramwhilst constantly expanding to various corners of the country. All this, alongside their already growing market around the world. The company boasts of an annual turnover of over Rs 300 crore with a workforce of over 2,000 people!

In a conversation with The CEO Magazine, Mr. Ramanaidu shares his thoughts on the industry, his journey, growth prospects and more…

TCM: What different are you offering to the food processing industry from the existing scenario?

Ramanaidu: We are contributing majorly to making Indian food global. We live in times when the coming together of various cultures has become more pronounced and in this scenario, there is a need to create exotic dishes that cater to different communities and their traditions. We have managed to create a unique fusion of Indian and Mexican cuisines that became an instant success. ‘Biryanis and More’ aspires to serve the growing needs of every vibrant city with a special blend of authentic and unique foods.

TCM: What trends do you follow to keep up with the market?

Ramanaidu: There is a tech explosionand majority of our guests are tech-savvy. At our restaurants we make sure that our offerings are up to date and user-friendly. The app culture has given a surge to online orders and a large chunk of promotion is done through social media. Add to that, customers today are a lot more conscious of health and hygiene than ever before and expect transparency from our end.

TCM:  Has  the  food  processing industry  transformed  over  the years?

Ramanaidu: Definitely! The millennials (age 18-34) are the largest consumer market with increased purchase power. It is safe to say that the growth of the IT industry is closely related to this development which has led to even tier 3 cities transforming big time towards online food deliveries – something we never predicted in the past. This generation hasvoiced increased interest in healthy food and is conscious of the nutritional content of what they consume. We have to whip up new menus keeping all that in mind!

TCM:  Do  you  think  this  is  the appropriate time to be working in this industry?

Ramanaidu: Absolutely. There is a surge in the number of people, both men and women, moving away from home for employment. The demand for a restaurant that can provide healthy and tasty food is only increasing and anyone who caters to that need is sure to be a success. With spending capacity on the rise as well, weekend get-togethers and casual outings have gone up. This is the best time to be in business!

TCM: How successful have you been in maintaining relationships with your clients?

Ramanaidu: We have been associated with a cross-section of clients and have catered to several events ranging from Corporate engagements to family functions alongside several private get-togethers. Each section has its own set of preferences and we like to personalize out services. We always make our customer needs the top priority and that has helped us retain them, which I would say translates to a very good relationship.

TCM:  With  food  processing becoming a competitive market, do you ever feel a lack of relevance professionally?

Ramanaidu: Not really. Because competition always pushes you to do better in terms of every aspect of your business. It is only when there is competition that you will strive hard to maintain standards that will make you relevant in the market! Shortcuts don’t work in an industry that is closely related to the health and entertainment of the client. And my team is well aware of this.

TCM: What are themeasures you take to maintain the quality of food?

Ramanaidu: We ensure regular quality checks to provide the best hygienic food to our customers. We take the utmost care in every step of the process till the food reaches a customer’s table and are involved in the production, handling, storage and preparation of the food. Selective and unique cooking methods, hand-picked quality ingredients, excellent presentation, and extraordinary service are the motto of our restaurants in the US and India.

TCM: Do you believe in Research and Development for the growth of the company?

Ramanaidu: There is no industry that can process without research and development. We have a research wing that works on enhanced methods and the use of sustainable technology for better production and service. They are constantly working to keep us updated with the latest trends in the food industry to stay ahead of our competitors.Constantly introducing innovative and exotic dishes to satisfy our customers can only be possible with R&D!

TCM: What role does technology play in your business model?

Ramanaidu: A major role, I’d say. With the emergence of online table reservations, social media and new methods of payment alongside a mobile always being on the table, technology has infiltrated the food and restaurant industry like never before.The success of a food business largely depends on technology today. The promotions on social media ensure wide publicity and food apps like Swiggy and Zomato take food to a customer’s doorstep. Webcam monitoring ensures quality and safety in the business. In our business that has many branches and franchises, technology helps us to monitor and receive updates instantly. But at the bottom of it all, quality food is the key!

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TCM: What arethe challenges your business faces at this point?

Ramanaidu: The challenges are many but the ones that top the list are the dearth of skilled labour and high employee attrition rates. These are issues faced by all the restaurants. Cutthroat competition, the constant need for innovation and tech-friendly methods are mandatory for any company right now.

TCM: What do you attribute your success to?

Ramanaidu: Dedicated employees are my biggest strength. They make my organization what it is by putting in their all. But their work wouldn’t see value without the support of clients who love us and talk about us. For me, the backbone of it all is my family who stood by me through thick and thin.

TCM: What ethos is maintained for the employees in your company?

Ramanaidu: We work as a family.Talent and dedication are always appreciated and we try to meet the needs of our employees. Their satisfaction is as important as our customers’ satisfaction. And at the end of the day, we don’t compromise on quality.

TCM: What is the strength of your workforce?  Do  youngsters finit  engaging  to  work  for  a  food processing company?

Ramanaidu: We aim to provide employment to both the privileged and underprivileged communities. We have around 2,000 people working for us. ‘Biryanis and More’ alone provides direct and indirect employment to over 1,000 people in a year.

TCM: What milestones and achievements are to your credit?

Ramanaidu: The demand forIndian cuisine has made the Indian restaurant industry experience exponential growth. ‘Biryanis and More’ has a unique advantage through its intellectual property and online presence and our aim is to dominate the industry is achievable. According to research by Aaron Allen &Associates, the total number of foodservice spend in India is growing at a CAGR of 4.1% out spacing the unit growth and gross sales per branded chain outlet. That is 140% more than independent outlets! With all these advantages ‘Biryanis and More’ presents a unique and wonderful opportunity to its customers.

TCM: What role do you think the government is playing in your sector and are you looking for a change?

Ramanaidu: India offers the most diverse production-base and has a grown food industry. It is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and the world’s second-largest producer of food grains, fruits, and vegetables. India is also the largest producer of milk. The Indian government promotes 100% FDI under the automatic route in the Food and Processing industry in India. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is making all efforts to encourage investments in the business. They have adopted safety and food quality mechanisms like Total Quality Management (TCM) including ISO 9000, ISO 22000, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) to protect consumer health and prepare global competition. I am quite happy that all these measures enable the Indian food industry to compete globally.

TCM: With the current scenario of consumption of processed products being high and ever-increasing, how do you see it working for your entity?

Ramanaidu: While there is a high consumption of processed products, the need for personal/family space, relaxed ambiance and sometimes a casual venue for a business meet is making restaurants’ demand going up. There’s also the increased awareness with regard to health that has made people aware of the benefits of fresh food over processed food.

TCM: In 10 years from now, what do you believe the company would have accomplished?

Ramanaidu: Led by a strong management team that is amongst the finest in the industry, ‘Biryanis and More’ is poised to grow aggressively by opening several outlets across India and America. With an annual turnover of Rs 6 Cr per centre, we aim to create an annual turnover of Rs. 75 Cr to Rs. 100 Cr per year in the state of Andhra Pradesh alone. Apart from fast food dining areas, we aim to expand into the areas of hospitality and travel by creating fine dining restaurants, budget and star hotels and high way rest areas in line with the ones provided in the United States.

TCM: What are core values that you still carry with you from the time you started?

Ramanaidu: Quality is our watermark;taste and innovation our guiding principles. There is a subtle relation between the way food is grown, selected, prepared, served, and the way it tastes. These principles have been time tested in a number of our restaurants across the USA and the same model is brought to the kitchens of ‘Biryanis and More’ in AP and other parts of India. Cooking begins with the sourcing of food. Every restaurant carefully selects cooks fresh food by using the highest quality local produce.

Biryanis and More not just brings to the table a delectable platter of exotic Indian and Mexican fusion food but also promises high standards of hygiene. Negating the complex food supply process they take care of providing their customers with the highest quality in every aspect of their service. The brand has marked its place in the market for its core values rooting for integrity and honesty – these two being the foundation of the organization and setting them apart from the competitors.

With the culinary scene expanding globally and interest in this segment of food amplifying, a number of restaurants like Biryanis and More have gained the prospect to showcase their festivity on a plate.

The global assimilation of Indian cuisine may not be as much as that of Italian and Mexican food but the ght back is a pretty strong one and is only growing with time. With the millennials always looking for Instagramm able food, the interest in trying new cuisines has increased over the years. The understanding of food is better today, leaving a chance to easily make a distinction between a variety of Biryanis. People have educated themselves with time and have gotten more demanding and specific with their palate.

Trying fusion food and dishes that have a hint of their homeland has also become popular these days and ‘Biryanis and More’ knows it the best.They ensure that they provide their customers with the best value and taste of food. With the Indian population being at its peak across America, this chain of restaurants has expanded likewise, grabbing the attention of devoted food, and especially Biryani lovers.

This quintessential celebrity dish of India has travelled across seas, countries, and survived modi fications. But ‘Biryanis and More’ has become a pioneer in managing to hold tight the authenticity and favour of this dish. They have successfully tossed the cliché of the typical picture of an Indian restaurant and introduced the US food market to a favour of spice induced adventure. And the customers are surely left wanting more!

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