He’s the man with the magical Midas touch. In fact, it’s said that in the restaurant business, anything he touches ends up being uber-successful. Meet Sumitt Wahall, the super charming and dynamic Chief Operating Officer of True Palate Cafe Pvt Ltd.
A veteran in the hospitality industry, Sumitt brings with him over 15 years of experience. In July 2021, Sumitt took over as COO of True Palate Cafe Pvt Ltd. In his current role, he commands and manages the overall operations for the very popular one8 Commune, Pincode, and Neuma. For all the brands, he also looks after marketing and future expansion plans in alignment with the company’s core value and culture.
As we said, through hard work and relentless focus, Sumitt has worked his magic and since his association with True Palate, the brand has seen one8 Commune expand to Mumbai and will be soon foreseeing new launches in Dubai, Bangalore and Gurgaon. A new addition to the portfolio is also the launch of Pincode, an Indian cuisine restaurant that has made its debut in Dubai and will soon bring its presence to Delhi in 2023. Read on as TheGlitz finds out more from Sumitt Wahall about his dynamic journey in the flourishing world of hospitality and cuisine, his top-of-the-line restaurants – one8 Commune, Pincode, and Neuma – under the umbrella of True Palate Cafe Pvt Ltd, and more…
Sumitt, you’re handling some of the best restaurants under one umbrella True Palate Cafe Pvt Ltd, and if insiders are to be believed, you’re the man with the Midas touch, could you tell us about your journey in the world of hospitality?
I began my career in 2002 at the Marriott Welcome Hotel in Saket. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with prestigious brands in India, including The Imperial, Shangri-La Hotel, Hyatt Regency Delhi, Sahara Star Hotel Mumbai, and more. Prior to joining True Palate Cafe, I held the position of President at Azure Hospitality for 11 years, overseeing operations in both India and Nepal. I joined True Palate Cafe Pvt Ltd as the COO in July 2021.
Could you tell us about True Palate Cafe? Having so many top-end restaurants under one umbrella must be quite a challenge, could you tell us about that?
Irrespective of the position one holds, every role presents its own set of challenges. However, True Palate Hospitality takes pride in encompassing renowned brands such as one8 Commune by Virat Kohli, Neuma by Karan Johar, and Pincode by Chef Kunal Kapur. Each brand offers a distinct range of culinary experiences that cater to a diverse audience, open to exploring various cuisines and embracing culinary experimentation.
What are the challenges you faced as a restaurateur?
Each brand under True Palate Hospitality faces distinct challenges that are influenced by their offerings and other key factors. One significant challenge, especially in the post-COVID era, has been the difficulty in sourcing and hiring talented individuals within the hospitality industry. Due to the severe impact of the pandemic on the hospitality and F&B sectors, many skilled professionals have moved on to other industries. As a result, post-pandemic recovery has presented challenges in terms of talent acquisition.
Furthermore, the demographic aspect poses another challenge as each brand within True Palate Hospitality has a unique offering and approach. This requires a deep understanding of the target audience and catering to their diverse preferences and expectations.
Lastly, the industry’s increasing competition has been an ongoing challenge that continues to escalate. The market has become more competitive, demanding innovative strategies and exceptional execution to stand out among the competition.
In summary, the challenges faced by each brand within True Palate Hospitality vary based on factors such as talent acquisition, catering to diverse demographics, and navigating an increasingly competitive landscape.
There are so many top-end restaurants… Is there a place for everyone? How do you tackle the competition?
Each brand within True Palate Hospitality is driven by a commitment to innovation. This holds true for one8 Commune, Neuma, and Pincode, where we constantly strive to introduce fresh and exciting elements for our valued customers. We consistently update our seasonal and full-time menus, incorporating the latest trends and conducting thorough research on brands both within India and in international markets. This comprehensive approach enables us to elevate our brands, expand our reach, and maintain relevance in the dynamic market landscape.
Could you list three of the professional milestones you personally are very proud of?
If I were to highlight three significant professional milestones throughout my career, they would be centered around cost efficiency, new restaurant launches, and the maintenance of high-quality standards while scaling the business.
Maintaining cost efficiency is of paramount importance as it influences every aspect of operations, from the kitchen to overall workflow. It serves as a fundamental principle upon which many strategic decisions are based.
Subsequently, successful cost-efficiency efforts pave the way for multiple new restaurant launches. These launches not only contribute to scaling the business but also foster a culture of regular innovation.
Building upon this foundation, we place great emphasis on upholding the quality of each restaurant within our portfolio. By ensuring exceptional standards, we strive to cultivate strong brand recall and loyalty among our valued patrons.
What are your future plans?
True Palate Hospitality is experiencing rapid growth on both domestic and international fronts. We have ambitious plans to establish our presence in major cities across India and extend our entire brand portfolio to the global market, thereby positioning it as a recognized global brand.