Leaf N Loaf : Founder Speaks
Every millennial dreams of leading a healthy lifestyle, which is vital. Put the blame on social media, peer pressure, flawless Instagram photos, or awareness. Â Though maintaining good health is a terrific option, getting there is not easy. The modern way of life is hurried, with tight deadlines, crammed schedules, and food-on-the-go, which encourages unhealthy decisions. When it comes to healthy food alternatives, India is still in its infancy. These foods are either costly or boring, which discourages healthy eating. The creators of Leaf n Loaf made an effort to create a healthy India while keeping this issue in mind. Leaf n Loaf is ready to make a lasting impression with sales of more than 50 salads per day across three locations and monthly income of 16 lakhs. In an exclusive interview with the founders, they share their recipe for success.
How has the adventure been going with Leaf N Loaf thus far? What was the underlying concept?
Leaf N Loaf began off with a pretty clichéd beginning since we had an unorthodox idea and opened a little shop in the basement of an IT building. We hoped to revolutionise the way people consumed food. From that point on, there has been no turning back. We have serviced more than 15000 satisfied clients in less than two years and are currently functioning in two major cities. The purpose of launching Leaf N Loaf was to inform people about the benefits of healthy eating and how the appropriate foods can change and cure your body. Due to unreachable goals and a fiercely competitive workplace, young Millennials have one of the poorest work-life balances and are constantly stressed both psychologically and physically. Our health is the first thing to go in our hectic routine, and we take it for granted. People no longer have the time to prepare their own meals, and there are fewer places to go that serve wholesome, nutritional cuisine. We agreed that this was a problem and made the commitment to solve it. By providing them with a memorable experience and dispelling the misconception that wholesome food can’t be delicious, we set out on a mission to encourage people to eat healthily. We believed there was a severe lack of delicious, nutritious restaurants delivering wholesome, organic cuisine in the Indian food market. More than 40 different varieties of salads are available at Leaf N Loaf, along with other intriguing healthy food choices like Super bowls (a well-balanced bowl that meets all of your nutritional needs), whole wheat pasta, detoxifiers (fresh vegetable and fruit juice blends rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals), and smoothies.
Cuisine: From the very beginning, we aimed to create a balanced menu that educated and helped our clients adopt a healthy lifestyle. We made sure to use the best, locally sourced foods and to create a cuisine that is healthily balanced. We experimented with superfoods and antioxidant-rich ingredients to provide you a meal that is both nutrient-dense and mouthwateringly delicious.
Ambiance: We aimed to create a straightforward yet attractive environment. We made sure that every area of our dine-in area includes something that a consumer can relate to, learn from, and take as an experience with them.
Cuisine provided: While beverages are supplied in glass jars with bamboo or steel straws, our food is presented with wooden utensils. A variety of salads, Super bowls, fresh detoxifiers, and other options are available. Every single dish on the menu has been thoughtfully created to provide you with a special experience, and in order to do so, we have made sure to present a variety of nourishing organic foods on your plate.
How did you begin, you three? Please share your history, areas of interest, and goals in life that align with leaf n loaf with each other.
Although we have always been drawn to the concept of living a healthy lifestyle, we weren’t entirely sure what good eating included. We discovered that the nutritious food supplied at these establishments wasn’t particularly pleasant, which discouraged most consumers from sticking with their efforts to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, we made the decision to develop a tasty and nutritious idea.
I am an engineer by trade and a passionate entrepreneur who comes from a family of hospitality business owners. For the past 26 years, our family-owned company has led the hospitality sector. In Green Park, our family opened the first traditional Kerala non-vegetarian restaurant in Delhi-National Capital Region in 1991 under the name MALABAR. Since then, we have successfully managed more than 15 restaurants, operated a facility management business, and provided F & B support and hospitality services to more than 200 clients.
In college, I discovered my interest in health and fitness, and I always looked for good, healthy food options. I ultimately understood that there was a large gap in this area and that more individuals like me were looking for better food alternatives. This is when I called Utkarsh, a buddy from college, and we got along right away. He put Ampin and I in touch, and the two of us brainstormed until we came up with the abstract concept of Leaf N Loaf. We reached out to potential consumers, conducted a market analysis, learned more about nutrition and how to live a better lifestyle, and then built our first store in a basement, which was an immediate success.
Patel Utkarsh Singh
I’ve been drawn to the concept of living a healthy lifestyle ever since I returned from the UK after finishing my schooling. This motivated me to start exercising frequently and alter my eating patterns. Having said that, I was unsure about the precise definition of healthy eating. As a result, I began learning more about it using the tools at my disposal and made the decision to test cuisine from the city’s few healthy eateries, of which there were very few. After trying a number of them, I came to the conclusion that neither the food offered at these establishments was very tasty nor was it simple to find nutritious cuisine. As a result, it made me less motivated to continue making attempts to adopt a nutritious diet. That’s when I made the decision to fill this enormous need by cooking something delicious and healthful.
I’ve always been a gourmet, but while I was doing my post-graduate degree in business and management in Glasgow, I started becoming more interested in the health and fitness industry due to the peers I was surrounded by. However, as soon as I entered the corporate world and had a busy schedule, my eating habits and diet altered, and I quickly gained weight. This made me feel weak and unwell. I started looking at healthy meal alternatives in the market to find a solution, but I was unable to keep up with the bland food or the restricted selections at home. Like most corporate professionals, the chore of preparing meals every day didn’t seem doable, and there was no healthy meal subscription plan that catered to my schedule and nutrition.
You made a relatively little first deposit. How difficult did you find it to be?
The food industry requires a lot of capital to operate. especially if you are a health food company as superfoods in particular are fairly pricey as raw ingredients. We have always felt that with the correct amount of preparation and a well-thought-out plan, we can do great things with very little capital. We recognised that we had a restricted budget, but we didn’t allow that stop us from being innovative and giving our consumers the best. We kept our interiors and infrastructure simple but clever, and we focused more on cleanliness and food production since you need to prioritise and implement when you have limited resources. At first, we delivered on our own and also serviced tables in order to maximise cost savings.
How many stores do you now run?
Within a time frame of two years, we have operated three stores in two significant cities. We have two locations in Noida and one in Gurgaon.
What Does It Take to Stand Out in the Food and Beverage Industry?
Within the previous five to ten years, both the customers’ needs and the industry’s environment have evolved significantly. It was never feasible to have access to such a sizable client base before the advent of social media platforms and third-party aggregators. However, just like every coin has a flip side, this led to an increase in the number of eateries and delivery services that have opened in recent years. With the introduction of the novel idea of Dark/Shared Kitchens, the F&B business has advanced well beyond the simple concept of a dining room. Even when seated in the comfort of their homes, people may receive the same experience.
Being upfront with your clients is crucial if you want to succeed in the modern food market. Instead of merely the cuisine, they want to identify with the brand’s feelings and ideals. We, as a restaurant, also have access to a sizable client database and their behavioural psychology, which may be researched and used to enhance the customer experience that your company provides. Every six months, we as a brand adjust our menu based on the things that our consumers enjoy the most and replace the least popular items with those that they would want to see there.
How Can the Target Audience Help Choose the Location and Format?
One of the most crucial elements in the food and beverage industry is location. The better it is, the closer you are to your audience. Based on the market research done for our product to analyse the target audience we are looking for, we as a brand always approached the appropriate place. It is crucial to comprehend your company model as well as select a property that fits the economics of it. For us, it was more about catering to our clients by offering them a casual dine-in location but primarily delivering the cuisine they love to their doorstep. If your business stresses presenting a wonderful dine-in experience, find a spot that is easily accessible for the crowd.
As a brand, we discovered that the majority of our target market consists of busy corporate professionals. Although the majority of them lack the time to prepare their own meals, they are aware of the importance and advantages of eating well. As a result, all of our locations are close to business districts and cater to customers between the ages of 25 and 45.
Regarding the prospects for franchising LNL?
We at Leaf N Loaf commit to our basic beliefs, which include encouraging you to eat healthfully and assisting you in leading a healthy lifestyle by giving you wholesome, organic healthy meals. Within the next three years, we intend to spread out across the main metropolises in both North and South India. In order to provide you with the greatest ingredients from farm to fork, we are also preparing to establish our own indoor farm. We are not prepared to franchise since doing so would enable us to further the concept with like-minded individuals.
Additionally, we want to launch a meal preparation service depending on your lifestyle and nutritional requirements. The subscription plans may be completely customised, and they’ll be delivered right to your door whenever it’s most convenient for you. Â Â We are also conducting in-depth study on our menu in order to provide more unique products and cuisines that are centred on a certain lifestyle. Within the following five years, we also intend to develop internationally.
How do you see your franchise experience?
We’re going to be very picky when it comes to distributing our franchise. We seek a partner who upholds the same principles and values as we do. Since we will not compromise on the quality of our services or the value of our brand, our support and oversight will be thorough. However, franchising will help us spread our message of healthy living. Â Franchise considerations are very important, and we have depended on FranFindr to support brand expansion.
Regions & locales covered by your franchise expansion strategy?
We want to leave our impact on the entire world. We also recognise that it takes more effort and tenacity since it’s easier stated than done. So, we’d prefer to concentrate on one subject at a time. First, we want to grow in all of India’s major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and others, then we want to grow in tier 2 cities as well. Increasing the scope of our reach to include important global locations like London, Singapore, New York City, etc.
How do you intend to handle a franchisor-franchisee relationship given that you are just getting started?
As business owners, we place a strong emphasis on information exchange. Since learning is a lifelong process, we want to maintain a healthy balance with our other franchisees. By teaching one another about a healthier and better way of life, we hope to create a community of like-minded individuals who want to make the world a better place to live.
How do you intend to keep the quality and uniformity of the meals throughout all of your locations?
Regardless of whether a location is operated by a franchise or a firm, we are very careful about the quality and consistency of the meals at all of our locations. There will be a central base kitchen that will send all the raw materials and ingredients required to each zone of the city where our store is located. We will personally oversee the acquisition of raw materials, and under any circumstances, we will not renege on any of the aforementioned commitments. We will hire every employee, and they will all go through regressive training under the direction of our production team and executive chef. Every kitchen is visited by our team of chefs at least three times each week, and the weekends are entirely reserved for quality control and recipe management. Only the stores that have been approved by us and are supervised by our procurement department will supply us with any raw materials.