UrbanRestro is India’s first online platform that provides an end-to-end solution in the areas of banquet booking, restaurant reservation, offering deals and event management with a blend of online and offline services. Currently functional in Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad, it not only lets you search for your favourite restaurants and make free reservations but also offers you the best deals at different restaurants.
We got a chance to interact with the dynamic lady behind UrbanRestro, who aims to create a one stop solution for all needs in the food and banquet industry by offering a wide range of choices and convenience to customers. Here’s what she has to say about UrbanRestro:
What inspired you to start UrbanRestro?
I always wanted to do something in the restaurant industry. During my college days, I wanted to open an Ice gola store. The idea later changed and I wanted to open a restaurant of my own. Then somehow, after working on 3-4 different ideas, I thought of making a mark on the online industry and since this idea was also catering to the hospitality industry I decided to give it a push.
How did you take your fist step towards UrbanRestro? Did you receive any funding from angel investors?
We started speaking to restaurant managers and owners for taking their feedback on the concept. And after getting a positive feedback we started developing the concept and building the website.
UrbanRestro got seed funding from Harsh Baid who is our investor cum advisor and has over 6 years of experience in sales.
How long did it take to put together UrbanRestro?
The most important thing required to start UrbanRestro was an unwavering zeal and the belief to do something more than a regular job along with the readiness to leave the high pay checks at the end of every month. Then the next step was to get the right partners who share your ideas and beliefs. Once these things were sorted, all the other things automatically started falling into place.
Initially it was not easy to get restaurants with nothing to show them. I remember we had to do almost 10 meetings to get the first restaurant on-board. At first we thought of charging the restaurants which unfortunately no one accepted since UrbanRestro was not a multinational proverbial company but just a startup and we had no proven track record. Then we started offering them a complementary service for the initial period and increased our tie ups. This worked and we started getting signups.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Currently, the hardest part of my job is hiring and finding talent. As a startup you have to be very choosy about the people you bring in. See to it that they have the same amount of zeal, passion in them and are willing to accept challenges.
What is next on the radar for UrbanRestro?
An app for android mobiles will be the next thing, also a Banquet comparison tool to help customers compare between different banquets are some major features in the pipeline. With 3 cities in 9 months already we want to expand to 6 more cities in the next 6 months. We are also looking forward to hire some great talent for both senior and mid level management positions so that together we can make UrbanRestro.com go international!
(Also check out: Tunnn- It’s not just about the food!)
Which is the one startup that has recently caught your interest (if any)?
Hmmm, there is a company called RedBus. It’s India’s largest bus ticketing company which reaches out to consumers through multiple channels like web, mobile, phone booking & retail outlets. I hope one day someone like me would take Urbanrestro’s name for this same question.
What do you wish you’d have known 5 years ago that you know now?
I reckon life is a long journey and in this route we are in a constant process of learning. Learning is endless and even today I make it a point to learn new things everyday. But yeah 5 years down the line, I wish I had known what exactly a person wants when he or she wants to spend time and have a good food experience. Probably by now UrbanRestro would have reached much greater heights. However, that opportunity has been missed and is just water under the bridge now. Today, my team and I are constantly endeavouring to give the best possible services to our customers!
A piece of advice that you would like to give to young entrepreneurs would be-
People often complaint that they do not get a substantial idea to start a venture. My advice would be to just take any idea and start. Business will change 360 degrees and will later not remain the way you have visualized it. So don’t think much. Just try your best and you will succeed.
Although in India, the concept of online booking of banquets and restaurants seems to be at the initial stage, the banquet industry in India is more than $6 billion and is expected to grow more in the future. UrbanRestro claims to be the only platform that negotiates on the customer’s behalf and wishes to make restaurant and banquet booking process much facile for customers by offering a mix of offline services with technology.
Do check out their services and give us your feedback!