Delhi in 2008 was brimming with restaurants and lounges. There were organisations and outlets that provided a silhouette space to party lover and diners. These places were decked and very nicely presented. I remember going to some of them, well dressed and informed. Sometimes the menus used to be a dose of heavy vocabulary which would go right above the customers head. And some guests would definitely get initimidated by the sheer presence of heavy interiors and ‘Formality’.

But on a parallel road, was a World of Cafes which in those times, was a road less visited.

All that India knew was The Big Chill Cafe in New Delhi or Indigo Deli in Mumbai – and gosh they were really good. For sure, there was a scope for a cafe model with all comforts – be it food or interiors. But this meant, mixing of cuisines and a mountain load of inventory – procurement supply chain. ‘This would be a disaster to play’ – an internal advise on the brain storming session came in. ‘Lets pick one cuisine like Big Chill and play safe.’ Another mystery was, ‘What if, it becomes one of those Haldiram’s, Bikanerwala’s of the world serving so many foods without much authentic outlook?’ So, the brand postioning was already being questioned. Somewhere in my head, it was clear that this cafe model of comfort food and eased interior ambience would do well and so was my client.

We created a model which said ‘From Pizzas to Parathas, Masala Chai to Martini’ we would serve it all. A food menu which would boast of not only pastas but Amritsari fried fish, to Big Juicy Lucy Burger. Curries being served as combos alongwith Mediterranean & Italian Grills. People can come as they want to, in slippers, distressed jeans, shorts. In short, it was their place a community space for one and all. The first quarter post opening was slow as it was a new thing which no one had ever experienced. Eventually, they started coming in numbers and repeats with their favorites marked – families, friends, singles, couples, kids, everyone.

Café Delhi Heights, not only served food but it changed the dynamics of the Indian restaurant scene. Seeing Cafe Delhi Height’s roaring success, a load of cafe concepts started mushrooming across the country.

What we at Zion Hospitality Consultants delivered?

Post CDH success, entrepreneurs could fall on an accepted case study where comfort food is the king and it can be delivered without any intimidation. And this confidence has continued ever since. Feeding the world Juicy Lucy Burger since 2010.

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