It began with the idea of creating a quahveh khanneh, or coffee house from Morocco and Turkey, where people would exchange ideas over coffee and sheesha.
And in 2001, the first Mocha was born. Today, his company has expanded and includes 18 Mochas across India. Riyaaz Amlani, CEO and MD, Impresario, shares his five steps to creating a successful brand.1. The idea was to create a product that people would sit up and take notice of. So we broke every rule. At that time, there wasn’t a place, where you could spend all day over coffee and dessert. The menu started with desserts. Savoury dishes were added later. It was all done on instinct.
2. My dad was running a multi-cuisine restaurant called Berrys in Churchgate. He offered us the outside of his restaurant. Since we didn’t have much money and it was a good location, we took it. At that time, we were three partners and we each put in Rs 5 lakh.
3. We ran out of money, so we borrowed furniture. Every piece of furniture was different, but ironically, that ended up creating the Mocha image. You have to create a mood and space that elevates senses and transports people to another zone. That can be done through the music, nice crockery and so on. You also have to keep it real. The kitchen was small so we prepared food outside and delivered.
4. I placed an advertisement in a newspaper for staff and 50 people showed up. I picked 15 with the best attitude. Of those, nine are still with us.
5. We hired a PR agency and got them to talk about us in the press. That’s the biggest thing in the restaurant business – you have to give people something to talk about. We also built the Mocha communities.