Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sichuan Restaurant

I am in Bangalore for an agile training for a client. I'm staying near our office in Koramangala so I went to this chinese restaurant called "Sichuan" near Raheja Residency for dinner. First of all let me say that its a really good restaurant. If I had to nitpick, it was a bit warm in there but that's about it. Food, ambience, service, rates, everything is very nice.

I had a soup and a main course that was delicious. Even the fresh lime soda was nice. So I am absolutely positive that they can serve excellent desserts as well.

But... there's a Natural's ice cream store just next door!! (Natural's is a very well established brand in India). I overheard the waiter ask at least 4 customers if they'd like to have dessert and they all very frankly told the waiter that they would have it next door. No offense meant and none taken either!

The Sichuan restaurant clearly has two choices.
  1. Make better dessert than the Naturals chain
  2. Strike a deal with naturals so that they either serve natural's ice cream at the restaurant / give some kind of discount on naturals ice cream if you've dined at Sichuan
What would you do as the owner of the Sichuan restaurant?


  1. Are the ice creams of naturals better than any dessert that Sichuan serves? If yes i would remove my items and just get huge family packs from naturals and serve the same in my restaurant + upgrade my dessert menu for folks who dont like ice creams

  2. I would certainly say option 2 -strike a deal with natural ice-cream ,concentrate on what it does best -churn out chinese dishes -core competancy ..

  3. I am not sure those are the only 2 choices. Here are some more -

    1. Ignore desserts completely, and encourage customers to have ice-cream at Naturals, and get a cut from any that make purchases there.
    2. Focus on non ice-cream desserts.
    3. Don't do anything.


  4. To start with I feel serving naturals ice-cream at the restaurant would be a huge no no - branding issues.

    Would agree with Shreeharsh's first two options.
    The restaurant could
    - Completely exclude desserts or restrict them to non-ice cream authentic Chinese desserts (if possible).
    - If they want people to have dessert at the restaurant, they could come up with some set menus which include dessert and introduce customers to their desserts.
    - Strike up a deal with naturals to offer discounts to customers who have dined at the restaurant (present the bill or something like that)