This restaurateur revolutionized the hospitality space with technology

Short Description
In an interview to Restaurant India, Mihir Desai, Founder, Corum Hospitality talks about tech-led innovation in the space.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Mihir Desai

Mihir Desai was one of the first restaurateur in India to play with technology led innovation. The idea first germinated on his visit to New York in 2014 when he came across a brewery trading in beer like a stock exchange trades in stocks, and he got fascinated by the innovation of the concept that opened the The Bar Stock Exchange in 2015 in Mumbai. Excerpts from the interview:

Mihir, you were one of the first restaurateurs to play with tech. Where do you see the sector today?

Yes, we were one of the first to marry tech with the restaurant With tech comes to ease of accessibility, customer interaction/engagement, and gets the customer closer to you virtually and it makes us give them a better experience as a whole. There are a lot of other tech innovations that we see coming in the near future and the marriage of Tech & hospitality Is only going to get stronger.

What innovation you have brought?

We got the whole experience of dynamic pricing on the menu. A customer gets to choose a brand at MRP if the brand is not trending and the pricing increases incrementally once the order is placed for that brand. This makes a win-win situation for the liquor brand and the consumer. Besides the pricing we got the menu in an app and customers got so hooked with the dynamic pricing that order placement also happens through the app.

What is the importance of tech-led innovation in the restaurant business?

Tech is the future and it's like revamping or refurbishing the old setup. Tech is being heavily used for your online food ordering via swiggy/zomato , with the use of AI the app shows you the highest-rated outlet for the kind of cuisine you prefer based on your last orders. Tech is also what has now made digital menu a new normal thanks to covid and also using the QR code receiving UPI payments via consumers.

Tell us about your restaurants. How do you see the business recovering post the pandemic?

Business looks pretty good and we should hit above our 2019 numbers this year even with 2 restaurants. We are pretty confident about our model and look forward to adding a few more outposts by the end of this financial year.

Today, we see many bars on the tech concept, Do you see any competition from them?

Tech is one of the variables but a restaurant runs on a number of other variables as well, the secret to success is not just being high on the tech quotient. So competition only makes our determination stronger as this only acknowledges that what we thought years back is still a successful business model.

How do you connect customers with both your concept and food and drinks? 

We have got a very user-friendly app to get the consumer on board and choose their order preferences and place the order by themselves. The consumer who enters our restaurant is always excited to try new brands and get a bargain on pricing on non-trending brands or come early to get a bargain on the pricing of their favorite brands. So the journey for the consumer between tech and Fnb is very smooth.

How about taking the online delivery route as we have been seeing top bars venturing and delivering customers’ favorite drinks via aggregators and their own channels?

We are very much active on online ordering apps like Swiggy /zomato and focus on packaging and serving size to accommodate different requirements of the consumer. Our aim is to be the first choice for the consumer if they plan to celebrate, meet up with friends/colleagues or work out of the office, we want to be their first choice for all such instances be it in the comfort of their home or at our outlet.

What’s your expansion plan?

Our focus is to expand in tier 1 and tier 2, we are looking to expand internationally as well.

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