Interview with Owner of Blue Lagoon - A Food Dosti Restaurant
Located in the heart of Pune city, Blue Lagoon Multi Cuisine Restaurant in Camp area, serves Continental, Maharashtrian, North Indian and Chinese fare. Since the new owner Mr. Milind Khamkar has taken over, the food quality, taste, ambience and service of the restaurant has improved drastically. In an exclusive interview with My Indian Dream, Mr. Milind Khamkar talks about his experiences while re-establishing this restaurant, the problem of food wastage in the country as well as ways to curb it. He also speaks about the Food Dosti Application as an innovative solution for the said problem. Here are a few excerpts from the interview. What made you enter the food industry? Food is my passion. This is the only business that I have ever wanted to be in. Actually, my family has been into the food industry since many generations. We belong to a family of halwais. So, even as a child, the only thing that I ever wanted to do was to open my own restaurant, which by the grace of God, I have been successful in doing. Tell us about your journey while setting up Blue Lagoon Multi Cuisine Restaurant? Blue Lagoon was already running, when I bought it from the previous owner. The main problem that I faced when ownership exchanged hands was that the reputation of this restaurant had to be rebuilt. Whether it was the customers or the suppliers, they had lost confidence in this restaurant. So that was a major hurdle for me - building up their trust in me and the restaurant. Other than that, the journey has been good so far. I have learned a lot of lessons and even today, everyday is a learning experience. One thing that I have concentrated on is the service. My staff is disciplined and makes sure that every customer is well taken care of. Tell us something about your restaurant Blue Lagoon Multi Cuisine - its ambience, menu and the concept behind it. When we took over the Blue Lagoon restaurant, we retouched and polished the entire interiors. The restaurant is based on the theme of water, hence we have used the color blue in everything. My restaurant’s main attraction is its scrumptious buffet. We serve mouthwatering starters. Our chicken kebabs, served straight out of the tandoor, are appreciated by all the customers. Our prawn dishes, especially prawn koliwada are a hit too. Kheema is another dish which everyone simply loves to eat. Amongst the vegetarian fare, akkha massor dal is very well liked by the customers. For desserts, we serve gulab jamun, chocolate mousse and ice-cream. Out of this, our guests find gulam jamuns to be exceptionally tasty. We have cooks from all over the country, like Garhwal, Konkan, Maharashtra, etc. and each of them specializes in a particular cuisine. Our food is rightly priced and we offer great value-for-money. Food Wastage is a major issue in India as well as the entire world. Do you think Restaurants and eateries are putting any efforts to put an end to it? Personally, I have never seen any restaurant making efforts to donate leftovers or reduce food wastage. As far as Blue Lagoon is concerned, we have ninety percent bookings and only about ten percent walk-in customers. So, we already have a fairly good idea of the number of customers expected and thus, cook accordingly. We make sure that food wastage is very less. The Food Dosti Application connects restaurants, non-profits and customers on a single platform, with the main aim of achieving Zero Food Wastage. How do you think this App will work towards reduction in food waste? I am very excited about the idea of Food Dosti Application. It is a wonderful way in which we can reduce food wastage and at the same time, do charity by donating leftover food. In my opinion, Food Dosti Application will hundred percent work. What according to you are the ways to stop food wastage? What can a common man do to put an end to food wastage? The habit of saving food and not wasting it is learned from the childhood itself, from our parents, particularly mothers. The women of the house, who cook food, should ensure that there is no food wastage in the kitchen. The parents should instill the right values in their children, with regards to respecting food. Self-discipline is very important. If every person decides that he or she will not waste food, there will be no food wastage in our country.