My first day at work, 19 years ago, at a stunning luxury hotel in Mumbai was simply an amazing experience and I learnt a simple mantra on day one, which has stayed with me till date – “take excellent care of your team members and they will take superb care of your guests and guests will keep coming back”. Then, I was too young and inexperienced to understand the in-depth importance of this simple sentence.
As I spent years in hotels across south-east Asia, and been a restaurateur since last 7 years – I now understand very well that the above-mentioned simple statement is of paramount value for any hospitality organization to keep growing and reach new heights of success.
Before the pandemic, we had expanded our brand Kebabs & Curries Company (KCCO) to 6 cities with total of 15 outlets and we were poised to grow even more. The unforeseen pandemic in 2020 put a brake on our rapid expansion plans. It was then that I had a lot of time to introspect about myself and the restaurant business I was operating together with our team and consistently growing the number of outlets into multiple cities.
What was the reason for me to be in this business and what was the key thing that was fueling our growth now and could do so in the future? After a thorough introspection the answer to both these questions turned out to be same. Food and beverage and entrepreneurship have been the cornerstones of my life, for as long as I can remember. Combining these two into a career made me happy and I have been delighted with my success and struggles equally over the years. When we started out business, we had a simple brand premise “KCCO – Happiness for All”.
So, I went a step ahead and made “Happiness for All” our tag-line on our logo. All our strategies, future growth plans, everything we were doing on a daily basis for our business, we always kept these three magic words at the forefront – “Happiness for All”. In other words, when all stakeholders of any business are happy, there is no force that can stop the business from growing leaps and bounds.
There are few initiatives that we put in action to further our cause. Below is a list of few actions that helped us create happiness for all:
Team’s Happiness: we moved to 6 days off a month from the current 4 days off a month for all our team members. This was to ensure our team members get enough rest, they spend more time with their loved ones and come back to work fully recovered and rested to give their best each time. Our aim is to be able to give 8 days off a month, this is work in progress.
Guest’s Happiness: whenever we receive a guest feedback or concern, all our team members go out of their way to win back our customer and keep them loyal to us. Service recovery is a must to ensure all our guests are happy. We have a daily practice across our outlets wherein the restaurant manager calls every guest who placed the order a day prior with us asking for their feedback about the food and services of Kebabs & Curries Company. In case there are any concerns highlighted by the guest, our team swings into action to fix the guest concern.
Community’s Happiness: we continuously contribute to our community. As a ritual, every week, few hundred meals are distributed for the ones in need. We carry out many other such initiatives from time to time.
Shareholder’s Happiness: we are consistently on the lookout to open more outlets across geographies, flourish, increase our revenues & profits and ensure that while shareholders are happy with returns, our team members also learn and grow as we expand our business more and more.
Registered Trademark KCCO Happiness for All ©: As we build our business alongside our community, it is indeed a dream come true for us to be able to register our tagline “Happiness for All”, as a copyright effective last year onwards. Seeing the words become a part of the brand officially, has been a huge sense of accomplishment, from the baby steps we took over 18 years ago.
The above actions really helped us create more success for our brand. I trust that the above initiatives when put into action may help any and every business, especially the demanding hospitality and restaurant business. Anyone would like to try the above listed initiatives, please feel free and experience the benefits firsthand. The process is still on and we are in search of more and more ways to create loads of happiness for all stakeholders as we want to grow even more. Happiness fuels growth.
We are a people dependent profession and keeping all our team and other stakeholders happy and motivated could lead to new feats being achieved. These action points have created magic for us in our restaurants and outlets and made me personally much happier and content as an individual. I hope that everyone would benefit from this simple concept of “Happiness for All”.
Varun Behl is the Managing Director of KCCO India Pvt. Ltd. Behl is a Jaipur based restaurateur operating a chain of restaurants and QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants). Varun is a seasoned food & beverage and hospitality management professional with experience spanning over 17 years; a decade of which is with Marriott International in India and its global operations. Food and beverage and entrepreneurship are his forte, which he lives on every day and is keen to share his insights with peers and mentees alike.