Celebrity Chef Pooja Dhingra becomes victim of nationwide lockdown, closes her Le 15 Cafe in Colaba

Short Description
Le15 has become the first major victim of the impact that the covid-19 has had on the F&B industry in the country.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Pooja Dhingra

Macaron queen Pooja Dhingra has shut her chic and iconic café in Colaba that was running for last 10 years.

Countrywide lockdown and a lean business has forced the chef to close her café which she started with her friend Pablo Naranjo Agular who moved from Colombia to create the savoury menu for the café.

“Deciding to close our Le15 Café in Colaba is the hardest decision I have ever had to make. The night before I decided to do it, I couldn’t sleep. I don’t think I’ve cried as much as I have in the past week. Flashes of how I have built it keep coming to my mind,” she shared in a letter.

Le15 has become the first major victim of the impact that the novel coronavirus pandemic has had on the jittery F&B industry in the country.

"These are uncertain times and everyone has to look at the vision of their companies to decide the road ahead. Unfortunately for us, that meant to cut down our overheads to ensure we can keep the dessert business going. The challenges we predicted were low walk-ins, high rentals and the onset of the monsoon and a general slow-down of business," shared Dhingra.

The café has been profitable for three years while the company has been profitable for six months.

"What will change is how people dine out, and the emergence of social distancing that means reducing covers and higher deliveries," she added as her Le15 cafe at Lower Parel and Bandra will function as usual when the lockdown ends.

A graduate from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Pooja has grown in a family of restaurateurs and chocolate lovers. Her father and brother own a Mexican restaurant and her mother is into a chocolate business.

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