Prasoon Gupta, Director, Sattviko, talks to Juhi Sharma about their dishes based on sattvik principles of preparation and expansion plans this year
How did the concept of a pure vegetarian ‘sattvik’ restaurant develop?
Few years back, my friend Ankush Sharma (now co-partner at Sattviko) and I were running a business in Delhi, and as bachelors we used to look for healthy, pocket-friendly, hygienic places to eat our lunch. It was during this time that we began considering the food service business on the lines of a fast-casual format, one which would serve ‘sattvik’ food. In February 2014 we opened Sattviko. We were also inspired by the Bangalore-based fine dine sattvik restaurant called The Higher Taste run by the Iskcon Touchstone Foundation, which also operates the chain of Govinda’s restaurants at Iskcon temples.
Please define Sattvik food.
Sattvik is a method of food preparation that has been defined by the Vedas as the most wholesome way of cooking food. Sattvik food is strictly vegetarian, and does not even contain ingredients like onion and garlic. The food is light, nutritious, easy to digest, and always freshly prepared. The foods chosen for this diet bring clarity and balance, both internally (in the body) as well as externally (in the universe). It is a wholesome meal that doesn’t leave the consumer feeling drowsy or heavy after the meal.
This technique of cooking is also based on the understanding that some ingredients have medicinal values and should not be mixed with other items and consumed daily (as medicines too should not be consumed daily).
What does Sattviko’s menu comprise of?
According to the sattvik guidelines, food should not be stored for more than 4 to 5 hours. Keeping this in mind, we have designed a menu with less items as more dishes would mean more wastage. Our 25 to 30 dishes offer Continental, Indian and Mexican food all of which are prepared the sattvik way. Sabudana poha, Quad burger and Shrikhand are the most popular dishes in our menu. We have a 2,000 sqft base kitchen in Vasant Kunj from where semi-cooked food is delivered to our dine-in format, where it is fully prepared in 10 to15 minutes.
What are Sattviko’s different formats and the revenue contribution from each?
Currently, we are operating a 750 sqft dine-in in M-Block market in Greater Kailash-II, a 100 sqft delivery format in Vasant Kunj, and three outlets in the corporate sector at Gurgaon. Sattviko caters largely to the age group of 25 to 40, who are working professionals, more health conscious and who avoid junk food. In our dine-in, that has a seating capacity of 35, we are receiving 40-50 percent repeat customers every day, and 70-80 repeat customers in the delivery format. Our average bill size in the dine-in is only Rs 200, and in the delivery format it is Rs 300-400.
The dine-in gets footfalls of 120 to 130 daily, and contributes the maximum revenue of 70 percent, the delivery format generates 20 percent, and10 percent comes from the corporate outlets.
What are your expansion plans?
Within the next six to seven months we plan to make a fresh round of investment of close to Rs 1 crore to expand our brand presence. Funding would be by investors and friends. Very soon we will be coming up with an express format in the Delhi-NCR region, and in the next three months we will expand our delivery formats and increase our corporate presence.