What made this restaurateur start a ‘Marathi cuisine’ restaurant
Although Maharashtrian cuisine is known for its distinctive attributes, it resonates very much with the wider indian cuisine. Many diners enjoy traditional raw food because of its unique taste and presentation. With a vision of bringing traditional Marathi cuisines to diners, Yogesh Magar launched Wah marathi.
It all started by offering authentic Maharashtrian cuisine mixed with a contemporary ambiance and exceptional customer service. This was intended to attract not only natives, but non-natives as well. The idea of bringing native dishes to the Maharashtrian community was a big task. This restaurant wanted to break away from the conventional way of serving Thalis and present it in a gourmet format. I had always felt a void for restaurants. Food being my passion and a Maharashtrian by birth, I wanted to bring pure and fresh food to the masses, belonging to our own culture away from the rush fast food.
Maharastrian food is so diverse and much of it remains unexplored. People should know that Maharashtrian food is beyond vadapaav. We conducted extensive research by visiting remote villages in Maharahstra to explore new dishes and recipes. Our team members learned many traditional recipes from old people, which actually added flavor to our menu and helped us create unique flavors. We believe in constant learning and continually strive to bring our offerings to the table.
The menu:The menu design was the hardest part. We experienced almost 400 dishes, and it took us at least 4 months to filter them. The challenges were to reduce operational costs, offer better prices and retain authentic flavors. All of this had to be supported without compromising on quality.
Effective :While exploring regional cuisine, the major challenge remains finding the right workforce. The personnel involved in the preparation of the regional cuisine must be related to the offer. We hit the ball right there, to hit a home run.
Acceptance:Pune is a hectic market. Thorough research should be done before putting anything on the shelf. Bringing Marathi food to locals as part of a fine dining concept was indeed a daunting task, but we succeeded in the end.
Single selling point:Offering a la carte Maharashtrian food, a model that has been well received by our customers.
Marketing;Established close to one of the largest IT hubs, Magarpatta Cyber City, Pune, the challenge was to attract not only locals, but also non-Maharashtrians, who resided in and around the IT city.
The response has been overwhelming so far, and our fanbase has grown day by day. People sometimes get nostalgic for the whole experience. They report it to the home made food from their mothers and grandmothers. Besides our customers, we have received requests to set up more of these restaurants in other cities and abroad.
We are very optimistic about the future and want to play our part in the overall growth and sustenance. Enriched with a rich experience of more than a decade in the industry, Wah Marathi has become a proven brand within three years. Apart from expanding our reach in other parts of the country, we also plan to expand in Maharashtra. Our pool will include franchised outlets as well as company-owned outlets. As mentioned earlier, we have received requests for franchise models, but we will work cautiously to make each unit, whether franchised or not, a sustainable and successful model.