Inderjeet Banga to cook up a storm in the international market with Prankster, progressive nostalgia cuisine

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Inderjeet Singh Banga, a visionary who loves to introduce unique food concepts, has changed the way Delhi food enthusiasts dine. Banga – who firmly believes that the future of dining is exceptional guest experiences – is credited with introducing two brands with absolutely different concepts
His restaurants – The Pirates of Grill and Prankster – cater to completely different segments of society.
While The Pirates of Grill is a restaurant where both families and members of the corporate world would feel comfortable, Prankster attracts the younger crowd. Whereas The Pirates of Grill serves – as the name suggests – grills and main course, Prankster’s cuisine is more Progressive Nostalgia.
In this exclusive interview with Indiaretailing Bureau, Banga spills the beans on his future plans, the importance of technology and a lot more…
Take us through your restropreneur journey so far – what have been the major milestones, and how have they shaped your career?
The seven-year journey in the ever-growing and evolving F&B business has been very exciting. I launched my first brand – The Pirates of Grill – in 2009 in Delhi and since than there has been no looking back. The brand was an instant hit among the food lovers of Delhi.
The first outlet helped us understand the nuances of the business better. We kept a keen eye on each and every activity happening around with which now we have a better understanding to guest behaviour, staff management and orientation required to achieve consistency at the store level.
Good food and service helped The Pirates of Grill grow organically to various cities like Gurugram, Chandigarh and Noida. At present, there are seven outlets of The Pirates of Grill.
Recently, we launched Prankster, which is India’s first food and brewery campus spread over 10,000 sq.ft. area in Gurugram.
What is the market positioning, USP and customer value proposition of your various restaurants?  
The parent company, Biggie Hospitality Pvt ltd, owns two very strong and exciting brands – The Pirates of Grill and Prankster. Both the brands have two different target customers with focus on great food.
The Pirates of Grill is family and corporate dining outlet with barbeque and buffet as main offering, whereas Prankster is designed like a university campus – from its ambience to its food, everything is designed to take the customer on a nostalgia trip. It serves food and drinks easily available at the college and school canteen, but with a unique twist.
Which cutting edge concepts, innovations and bold experiments are, according to you, truly unique to your establishments?
The brand has always believed in understanding the evolving guest needs. Keeping this in mind, The Pirates of Grill was introduced with the idea of paying a pre-fixed meal price and letting free flowing food take centrestage.
Prankster, on the other hand, has a library, chemistry lab, amphitheatre, canteen and classroom. The ambience and food here takes customers back in time, to good days, college days.
How are you leveraging technology to streamline and expand your infrastructure bandwidth?
In today’s time, technology plays a very important role in every business and the restaurant business is no different. It helps in reaching the target audience. From social media interactions to planning the exclusive app, to managing back-end operations, everything is driven by technology.
The brand is also leveraging technology to track how many times a particular guest is coming back, their eating behaviour and the amount of time they spend in the restaurant.
What is your strategy for engaging customers?
Nowadays, the customer is very evolved and well-traveled, and embraces innovation in every form. To engage customers, I make sure all my brands have something unique and different.
The Pirates of Grill promises to offer good food at economical prices. The theme of the restaurant is grilled food. Prankster, meanwhile, is a completely new, and revolutionary concept altogether. It has introduced a new cuisine – Progressive Nostalgia.
I firmly believe that new concepts and food innovations are a huge hit among customers.
Location plays an important role in the success of any restaurant. Tell us the process of finding the right location.
Finding the right location is one of the keys to success in this industry. The science behind this is very complex one but just to simplify it high footfalls with right rentals and presence of target guests as per the restaurant format helps in deciding the apt location of a restaurant.
What are the hurdles and problems that the restaurant industry has been facing in general?
I think higher rentals, lack of F&B hubs with integrated back-end services, too many licenses, and a shortage of quality and trained staff are some of the key challenges faced by the industry.
What are your future plans?
I am planning to expand The Pirates of Grill nationally and Prankster internationally as well. Three outlets of The Pirates of Grill and Prankster, each will be launched by the end of 2017.

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