Curry Goes Republic

Posted on In Focus Mar 2011 - by Tandoori Magazine
Curry Goes Republic

In the first of our regular new business features, owner Bilal Ahmed talks about the new takeaway

 

As a concept, what is The Curry Republic?

The Curry Republic is aiming to be the first group of branded curry houses in the Midlands. Our first location in High Street, Henley-in-Arden offers a takeaway and delivery service, as well as a small 24-seater restaurant.

 

What inspired you to launch this business venture? 
I have always had an association with the catering industry as many years ago my parents owned and ran highly successful Indian restaurants. I identified there was a gap in the market for this type of venture.

 

What was the initial capital investment of setting up the site and what made you decide on the location? 
The site has always been a restaurant so the basic facilities were in place. Henley-in-Arden will be our only location to offer a dine-in option. Further Curry Republics will be takeaway and delivery operations only. Henley was chosen because other venues in the locality serve the same kind of food they have done for the last 20 or so years. I believed something different would appeal. The initial investment in The Curry Republic brand and the Henley-in- Arden site has exceeded £150,000.

 

What is the average cost per head of ordering at The Curry Republic? 
Around £12.

 

What are you best-selling dishes? 
South Indian Fish Curry, crispy calamari and mirchi paneer.

 

How many staff does The Curry Republic employ? 
Eight in total.

 

What are the pros and cons of having a Take-away based concept and one that is an a la carte based concept? 
In the current climate more and more people are staying home to save money and tend to go out for special occasions only. So it seemed the perfect time to launch a branded takeaway where customers are assured of fresh food that tastes the same whichever branch they visit.

 

What do you think it is that makes your business a success? 
The branding and freshness. We use quality produce, delivered fresh on a daily basis. Our chef has been working for the famous Oberoi Hotel Group for over 20 years and he brings a wealth of experience and a different offering.

 

How have you formulated an expansion policy to other sites? 
Our expansion program is to open 10 takeaways within the next two years. We have already identified three locations.

 

What has been the one key business decision that has made your venture a success? 
I put it down to our motto, which is very simple: if you can go to a Domino's Pizza anywhere in the country and have the same tasting cheese and tomato pizza, why can't you do the same with Chicken Tikka Masala?

 

What does the future hold for The Curry Republic? 
The future for Curry Republic is all about
expansion, expansion and expansion!

 


Sample Menu

Starters
Crispy Brinjal - aubergine coated with ground rice and gram flour providing the perfect contrast
Kashmiri Lamb Chops - tender chunks of lamb marinated with home-made yoghurt and ground spices
Jingha Nach - stir-fried tiger prawns marinated with freshly chopped garlic, garnished with fresh coriander and spring onions

Mains
Garlic Chilli Chicken - freshly chopped garlic simmered with caramelised onions and tomatoes
Lahl Kodhu Gosht - a popular East Bengal dish cooked with butternut squash
Salmon Masala Tengha - delicately spiced salmon cooked in spicy tomato sauce

Sides
Sabzi Sordhar - spicy seasonal vegetable stir-fry
Aloo and Tomato Bhajee - potatoes in garlic-infused tomatoes
Mushroom Mughlai - creamy and flavoursome

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