Launched on December 23, 2013 and located at The Ashoka, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, fine dining Mediterranean restaurant Zerruco is targeting revenue worth a crore per month, up from the current Rs 70 lakh to Rs 80 lakh, by this September, says Manoj Rai, Director Food Production, Zerruco. Rai talks about the hot sellers, marketing strategy, and future plans of the restaurant that serves Stiletto-Shaped Pasta, a unique offering!
The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating with 120 cover in total. Chefs at the restaurant are trained every alternate day for 40-50 minutes. The current menu comprises 56 items with the non-vegetarian and vegetarian ratio standing at 80:20. Vegetarian appetisers at the restaurant cost not more than Rs 500 while the non-vegetarian appetisers do not exceed Rs 650. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian pizzas are priced at Rs 700 and Rs 800-Rs 900, respectively. A main course vegetarian meal at Zerruco is priced at Rs 785 onwards while the non-veg main course starts at Rs 1,195. The liquor served at the restaurant includes only international brands like Absolut, rare scotch whiskies, etc. A normal pint of beer at the restaurant comes for Rs 395.
“I change the menu every 3-4 months, we review the menu response in the last three months, check on the items which are upselling, and remove the ones moving too low or not moving at all,” adds Rai.
Rai opines that menu planning should not exceed more than 28 percent of the total restaurant cost but with fine dining maintaining that is really difficult. An ideal fine dining menu should have a maximum of 30-40 items, he points out.
Rai visits other Mediterranean restaurants to check the menu, pricing, and authenticity of the food.
According to him, pizzas, pastas, lamb chops, Risotto, and the entire dessert menu are the most popular items at the restaurant. Rai mentions that the restaurant also makes in-house gelatos in its bakery with “Pacojet,” the German machinery costing Rs 1.5 lakh. He confirms that overall Rs 25- 30 lakh has been invested in the imported machinery like a Rational Combi Oven, an in-built Woodfire Pizza Oven (which alone is about Rs 7 lakh), etc.
Rai states: “On weekends, out of all our total footfalls, around 20 percent are foreigners. Wines are also a topseller, almost 10-20 wine bottles are sold on weekends in a day, the basic price of a bottle starting at Rs 8,000. During summer weekends, we sell 120-140 beer pints on an average.” The average per cover per person or APC (total number of footfalls divided by total sales) for Zerruco is Rs 1,500 which includes a two-course menu plus drinks.
Culinary Innovations: Paccheri, Orecchiette, Linguine, Stiletto-Shaped Pasta
“For the period between October to March, every Sunday we do a new menu for the Sunday Brunch serving 90-100 items on an average. The Brunch menu is not a part of our regular restaurant menu, we do not use penne, spaghetti, etc. as we have our own machine to make Paccheri, Orecchiette, Linguine, and Stiletto Pasta. We use patent designed moulds,” says Rai. The restaurant has also developed 7-8 types of wood-based crockeries, sampled from London but made in India from local vendors.
Tour and travel companies are currently on the marketing strategy of the restaurant as per Rai. “Such companies can get traveling groups to the restaurant for dining which will also help in the word of mouth publicity.” Atleast 5 percent of the total sales are spent on marketing activities, admits Rai. He mentions that plans are also in the pipeline for tier 2 and 3 cities.
By the end of this month, Zerruco plans to come up with new vegetarian options where the ratio would change to 60:40 between non-vegetarian and vegetarian as compared to the present 80:20 ratio between the two. The restaurant wants to capture 20 percent of the Mediterranean food market by this fiscal and is likely to launch its website in the next two weeks.
“We plan to consolidate the current restaurant as of now and later whenever we expand it will be in Bangalore and Mumbai,” reveals Rai.