Since the late 70s, the burgeoning number of restaurants has had a strong presence on the city’s food map. With the growing dining culture, B360 spoke with some of the capital’s ace restaurateurs on their business, challenges and success mantra. Excerpts:
Among the list of new establishments, the chic Embers Restaurant, is sure to catch the eye. Opened in 2013, Embers has one of the best spaces among restaurants in Kathmandu. Dipesh Kunwar is the Owner.
What is the story behind Embers Restaurant?
Embers Restaurant was established in 2013 with a motive to take restaurant business to the next level in Nepal. Back then, there were very limited options in the market and people had to go to five-star hotels in order to get quality service, good ambience and quality food of international standards. There was a huge gap between hotels and normal restaurants in terms of food and service. We wanted to fill that gap by creating a place where guests could dine in a 5-star ambiance with food prepared in the well-equipped kitchen by an experienced chef.
In today’s context, is the restaurant business more about experience than the food?
I believe, in order to have a good experience, all your five senses have to be satisfied. Right from entering a restaurant till the time you leave, if the guests see, hear, smell, feel and taste right, that’s when they have the best experience. However, I still think food should always be the priority.
What are the challenges in terms of surviving in the market and growing business?
The failure rate in this business is very high. These are due to different reasons such as inexperienced owner, poor management and account keeping, wrong location, below par food, etc. On top of that, staff retention is the most challenging part. Government regulations, poor infrastructure, inflation, inconsistent supplies are other challenges every restaurant is facing currently. If these issues are handled tactfully, there are high chances of your restaurant lasting long.
Observing the food scene over the years, where does Kathmandu stand?
These days, people travel very frequently and they are exposed to what is being offered in the international market. People are always anticipating new concepts and we can see many of them have been successful in creating a buzz in the market.
What has been your success mantra?
Treat your guest right and provide good food and service that are value for money. Differentiating our products from what is offered in the market has been our success mantra.