London Taxi’s epic Incubator Program is accepting applications from individuals with impressive ideas, and who are passionate about food. It will help drive a food brand forward and how cool is that?
To support small businesses, promote entrepreneurship, and fix the pandemic’s damages in the F&B business, award-winning restaurateurs Dhaval Udeshi & Pawan Shahri of London Taxi has developed a cutting-edge Incubator Program for home delivery. This program invites aspiring food entrepreneurs to realize their life-long dream of starting their own food brand. London Taxi’s Incubator Program is an open invitation to anyone who wants to kick start their business.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the nation’s restaurant industry. From diners and restaurants to giant chains and small businesses, where nearly 40% of restaurants shut shop due to the outbreak last year. Seeing this, restaurateurs Dhaval Udeshi & Pawan Shahri took a step towards helping the F & B industry with London Taxi’s Incubator Program. This program will enable 5 Entrepreneurs to launch their ideated brands from its 650 sq ft kitchen space. It will also give them 100% funding along with giving them access to support functions like marketing, advertising, aggregator relationships, finance, and accounting.
” During the first lockdown, we saw many first-time entrepreneurs enter into the food delivery space with some great ideas and experiences. Although, with the course of time, issues like funding, infrastructure, technical know-how, and lack of industry experience led to them shutting down their businesses. We were in constant touch with many of them to guide and mentor them through this process. It was then we realized that promoting entrepreneurship through these times along with ensuring a sustainable business atmosphere is the key to saving jobs and helping the industry stand up in the post lockdown world.”, says Pawan Shahri, Founder of The Taxi Incubator.
Both the entrepreneurs behind the incubation program have always been giving back to the community and the industry in their own way. This is not the first time! Last year, one of the partners co-founded BroEat! , an online ordering platform to help restaurants set up their direct delivery module which was adopted by the industry. This year, the goal was to promote and increase entrepreneurship. It will in turn help increase jobs and create a circular economy. While the incubator programme might be a pilot, this is a model which every restaurant in the country can adopt to make 100% use of their kitchens during and after the lockdown.
Be it the new or existing brands, entrepreneurs with or without any past F & B experience, chefs, or non-chefs,
the applications are open to all. One can simply log on to www.thetaxiincubator.com and fill a simple form. Further explaining the same Pawan adds, ” We will be looking at the suitability of it in the current market and expected future market. We’re also going to ensure that the incubated brands are exclusive in nature to the cuisine and structure within the program.”
About the challenges of opening up an eatery in India Pawan feels extremely high real estate prices, and the unavailability of single-window-license can be difficult to deal with. ” Understanding the market pulse is extremely important. These three combined together make it a challenging business to be in. This can only be mastered using professional help and experience.”, he adds.
Opening up a restaurant or an eatery means one needs to work in the F & B industry no matter how big or small their venture is. ” F&B is a complete skill-oriented business in all aspects and a volume/margin driven business. There is a list of factors that ensure sustainability and profitability. It’s super important to not go wrong with the numbers. From it being an ever-evolving business, change in customer behavior and product standardization + scalability being different as per region are a few of the bigger challenges of the industry.”, he says.
To those who are looking forward to making their career in F & B, Pawan feels they should understand their market. He also suggests delivering a product and an experience at a price they want, and maintain the quality of your product. Also always be accessible to them in the best possible way without missing out to keep a strict check on your balance sheet.
During the pandemic, it was the F & B industry that was completely shaken. People were not ordering, and the eateries had to shut down. However now things are getting back to normal, the industry is still not completely over it. Sharing his thoughts on the future of F & B in this pandemic he says, ” The change in the Indian culinary system post lockdown will be massive. Firstly, the dining-in business has changed forever. The city is now divided into pockets and people will prefer to dine out in their pockets. Traveling for dining is going to be low. For example, someone staying in Malad will prefer to eat out in Malad vs travelling to Bandra. Brands will have to make themselves more accessible to customers. They should do it either increasing their delivery radius or figuring out micro expansion plans.”
He also feels the delivery business is here to stay. ” Every restaurant should adopt it as their major earner and build it in a way to scale it. This will only ensure that the business is always rolling. Direct delivery should focus and direct-to-consumer marketing should be at the helm of all communication. Thirdly, the real estate game is going to take a big hit. The deals + prices for dine-in restaurants will come down significantly. It will make it more sustainable for businesses to work in the future. If a group is planning on expanding its outreach, now is the time to look out for. And, block more properties and also do a strategized agreement to fulfill the same.”, he says.
Since the incubation plan is open to every entrepreneur, it’s a great opportunity for those who want to start with something new while being guided. Pawan Shahri believes that if one wants to enter the F&B Business, they should follow 3 things. “Ensure you understand the market well and do enough research around it. Get professional help for set-up and management Get your concept in place and find a location accordingly.”
The duo is currently in the pilot of the incubator plan to see the synergy between their brands and test-market it. The idea is to extend it to all our outlets across the city giving these brands 10 touchpoints each. ” We will be looking at over 80 internet restaurants over a span of 18 months. The incubation programme further will always be on the lookout for new entrepreneurs. Especially who want to enter the industry and have the zest for doing so. Our team will be at the helm of incorporating them into our kitchens.”, he says.