You need to keep up with the trends to survive in Bengaluru’s restaurant industry: Srikanth Karkada

The fifth floor of SFO Hotels and Suites in JP Nagar, Bengaluru, used to house a Mexican eatery but now houses Sea Lions Barbecue and Grill, because owner Srikanth Karkada wants to keep up with the trends — something he feels is key to staying relevant in Bengaluru’s restaurant industry.

Karkada, who has had more than a decade’s experience in running hotels and restaurants after an extended stay in the US, spoke to Times of Food on Sunday, December 30, about what can help up-and-coming restaurateurs succeed in a near-saturated hospitality ecosystem like Bengaluru.

And he had quite a few pieces of advice to share when we caught up with him!

‘Can’t stay stagnant’

Karkada said restaurants need to be always on their toes. “You can’t stay stagnant. You have to know people’s demands, and then cater to them,” he said.

But that’s not the only reason the Mexican restaurant on the fifth floor of SFO Hotels and Suites gave way to Sea Lions BBQ and Grill.

Karkada admitted that while the barbecue-and-grill trend was definitely a factor, there was another reason.

“People now want healthier food,” he simply said. Pushed to explain, he added: “People want less oil and more protein in their food. A barbecue and grill gives them just that!”

Stuffed Chicken Kalmi Kabab at Sea Lions BBQ & Grill | Image credit: Arkadev Ghoshal/Times Of Food

Passion and practicality

But these alone are not what it will take for one to succeed in Bengaluru’s restaurant industry, according to Karkada.

A mix of passion and practicality could also help youngsters make a mark in the industry, he said.

Karkada also explained that people looking to make a name for themselves as restaurateurs in Bengaluru should also have some experience under their belt.

“A few years of experience on how to start and run an establishment should help,” he said.

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