Skillet aims to provide key actionable insights to restaurants

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Zomato Skillet, an education forum for restaurateurs, was recently launched with a workshop in New Delhi, that saw participation from 52 restauranteurs. Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder, Zomato, highlights how this initiative will contribute to the growth of the F&B sector

What is the objective of launching Zomato Skillet?

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Pankaj Chaddah

The primary objective of launching Skillet is to contribute to the long-term success and sustainable growth of restaurants. Over the last decade, we have focused heavily on understanding the rapidly evolving consumer needs and trends, across various geographies. These insights have not only helped us in creating better dining experiences for our users, but have also allowed us to help the restaurant community adapt to the changing consumer needs and grow their businesses in meaningful ways. We are now taking this endeavour a step further by launching Zomato Skillet – an educational forum for restaurateurs and F&B managers, to contribute exponentially to the growth of the F&B eco-system.

What is the common skills gap among restaurant owners and F&B heads that you are looking at addressing?

As glamorous as the F&B industry is perceived to be, at the ground level, it is a daily fight to survive and thrive. With more and more restaurants mushrooming in every alley, and new government regulations coming in every few months, restaurants are grappling with numerous challenges on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, the restaurant community is highly diverse, each restaurant’s challenges at any given point of time will differ. Through Skillet, we are looking at designing a range of workshops to address many business and operational challenges across the board such as expansion and scaling up, creating a profitable menu, retention of staff, brand sustenance and financing among others.

How will it help their business grow? And the industry in the long term?

Skillet, by design is an industry-focused, highly interactive forum. These educational workshops will help restaurateurs identify market opportunities, discuss challenges with peers, learn from experiences of master chefs, and address pain points in the business. They are aimed to provide key actionable insights to restaurant owners and managers, on various aspects of conducting their businesses better. Empowered with insights and learnings, restaurants will be able to focus relentlessly on creating the right product offerings for the right consumer segments, as well as work on improving the quality of food and service.

Are you only focusing on a particular category of standalone restaurants and outlets? Is it only for those on Zomato platform?

Given the vast diversity of the F&B landscape, we will carefully curate each workshop’s theme to suit various different segments – for instance, one of our upcoming Skillet volumes will focus on ‘logistics and delivery optimisation’, which is more suited for the rapidly growing delivery kitchen segment. The last Skillet that we conducted with Priyank Sukhija, one of India’s most prolific restaurateurs, focused on ‘expansion and scaling up’ and gathered an audience from many successful dine-in and nightlife stand-alones, who are now looking at branching out. A topic like ‘financing’ would be relevant across various restaurant segments.

What will be the content of these workshops? Who will be conducting these? Which cities?

Industry experts, hospitality consultants and successful restaurateurs will conduct the workshops. The content will revolve around the speakers sharing industry trends, insights on implementing best practices, strategies to address various operational challenges as well as their stories of successes (and failures). An interactive Q&A and informal knowledge sharing amongst fellow attendees are also an integral part of the program.

We have started out by hosting Skillet across key cities in India (Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad among others), and will eventually take this initiative to our other countries of our presence.

Are you engaging with restaurant associations for this or is it Zomato’s independent project?

At the moment, this is our independent initiative.

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