The city of Delhi is burning up in the heat but its citizens are cooling off in style in their favoured restaurants and bars. Molecule, a unit of Yuvi Hospitality is one such. After making a splash through its original outlet in Gurugram, followed by the second one in Delhi, its popularity led its team to open branches in Chandigarh, Lucknow and other cities. By the end of this year, three more locations will have opened up in Civil Lines in Delhi, as well as one in Goa and Noida each. Apart from the expansion of Molecule Bar as a brand, there are more brands in the pipeline for the Yuvi Hospitality group. These include a pan-Asian restaurant and a pan-Indian one in South Delhi, high energy bars in Delhi and Indore, and two more outlets in Goa. On the occasion, Sahil Sambhi, Founder and Director of Molecule under Yuvi Hospitality joins The Daily Guardian Review for a candid chat.
Q. Tell us about your largescale expansion plans?
A. We have new outlets coming up in North Delhi, Noida, Goa, Indore and a few other cities. We have chosen great properties at the best locations in these cities. Choosing the right property at the right location is one of the defining factors in the success of the outlet. We have chosen these locations due to the high footfall of our desired target audience at these locations and we feel our brands will elevate the dining out experience at these cities.
Q. Which is your most popular branch?
A. To be honest, it’s difficult to pick one outlet as all our outlets are among the best performing outlets in the city they are in. If I have to pick one, it will be Molecule Delhi and Molecule Agra as these outlets have consistently achieved good numbers. Molecule Gurugram is also one of the most popular outlets as it was one of the first ones to open.
Q. Have you faced challenges in your pan-India expansion? How have you overcome them?
A. The biggest challenge is navigating the differences in getting the licenses and all the various policies. Every state has a different set of licenses and requirements to open a restaurant or a bar. Doing business in India has always been cumbersome because of the lengthy procedures of compliances to be fulfilled. Things are getting better, but at a snail’s pace. Until we have a single window approval for businesses, it’s always going to be tough at various levels.
This has not deterred our growth fortunately. We are targeting a cumulative turnover of the Molecule brand across the country to be around 100 crore in 2022-23. And for our other brands we are hoping to clock an additional 50 crore.
Q. How do you stand apart from your competitors in the market?
A. It might sound cliched saying that we are our only competitors, but it is the truth, as we are setting new industry standards by launching a brand each year. When Molecule Gurugram was doing really well, we launched The Drunken Botanist, then we launched Distillery and Vietnom in Gurugram too. There was a time when all four brands stood against each other and fought for space, but we were still in the Top 10 of Gurugram. Apart from our own brands, we certainly believe in healthy competition and I genuinely feel that good competition keeps you in the market, because competition inspires you to do your best, to keep innovating and redefining offerings and business aesthetics from time to time. We see strong competition in brands like Ophelia, We Qutub, Diablo, Dear Donna and a few others that have been around for some time. Amongst newer ones, we believe Bougie, Younion, Cosy Box, and Chica are ones to watch for.
Q. Which are you most popular offerings? Why do you think they are most popular?
A. As a company, we strive for perfection in all our offerings. For us, ensuring that we serve good food at all times is extremely important. A good experience comes with good food, good vibes and good drinks, and we make sure to offer our customers a melange of everything. At Molecule Bar, we have some really innovative dishes like Air Bread, Edible Lava, Dahi ke Heaven, Live Chaat counters, Fusion Tacos and Chole Bhature, along with other signature favourite dishes. Our cocktails keep changing as per themes and recipes also change from time to time. Our dishes are popular because of their relatability. We believe in offering food which combines a feeling of nostalgia, great taste, and an in-depth understanding of flavours.
We are aware that everybody is excited by the idea of change. Hence, at our properties, the only thing that remains constant is the good service. We keep launching new menus and introducing new patterns / concepts / events from time to time so that customers have multiple reasons to keep visiting us.
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.