Uniting Cultures Through The Universal Love Of Food

Sumitt Wahall, Cheif Operating Officer of True Palate Cafe gives industry insights in this exclusive Interview with EE


The hospitality industry is a multifaceted and dynamic sector revolving around the art of creating memorable experiences for guests. This ever-evolving field plays a vital role in the global economy, consistently adapting to meet the changing needs and desires of a diverse and discerning clientele. Sumitt Wahall, COO of True Palate Cafe talks about the industry in this exclusive interview with EE.


Could you tell us about True Palate Cafe?

The company began its journey approximately five years ago, while its restaurants under the True Palate brand opened in 2019. Presently, we operate a total of six outlets of one8 Commune (three in Delhi, and one each in Juhu, Kolkata, and Pune). Additionally, we have Neuma located in Mumbai, and the latest addition to our portfolio is Pincode, which has its flagship outlet in Dubai and two outlets in Delhi - Civil Lines and Saket respectively.

What are your future plans for Pincode by Kunal Kapur, One8 Commune, and Nuema in India?

True Palate Cafe is gearing up for significant expansion with ambitious plans. Our next one8 property is set to launch by the end of August 2023 in Gurgaon, while the Bangalore outlet is scheduled for the end of September 2023. Additionally, we have our sights set on new cities for expansion, including Hyderabad, Indore, Dehradun, Jaipur, and UAE.

Exciting developments are also happening with Pincode in Delhi. Following the successful launch of our first outlet in India at Civil Lines, we have now inaugurated our second outlet in the country at Select Citywalk in Saket.

What's your business model for the brand?

We currently operate company-owned outlets with a primary focus on metropolitan areas. Starting from the 3rd quarter, our goal is to extend our presence to Tier 2 cities and eventually secure a significant share in that market as well.

What are the key trends to watch out for these days?

The hospitality industry has undergone significant evolution and continues to evolve. With the integration of new technologies and innovative techniques in food preparation, it is moving away from traditional and orthodox cooking styles. However, even in the foreseeable future, consumers will still seek comfort food, albeit with a fresh sense of innovation incorporated into various cuisines.

How are One8 Commune and Pincode expanding? Are there particular cities that are being targeted for each based on the offerings?

Over the next 5 months, our primary focus will be on both enhancing our current portfolio and expanding our presence through new outlets. For one8 Commune, our goal is to open a minimum of 10 new outlets in different cities across India. As for Pincode, we are planning to launch two new outlets, with a vision to establish a total of 20 outlets across the country. Neuma, being a luxury brand, will see expansion with 4-5 outlets in India and abroad, targeting audiences that resonate well with our premium offerings.

Why did you choose to open Pincode by Kunal Kapur in Dubai first and then in India? Was there a particular strategy behind this?

The decision to launch Pincode in Dubai was purposeful, influenced by the city's dynamic and diverse culinary landscape, which resonates with its vibrant Indian community. Our vision was to offer a distinctive culinary journey that showcased Indian flavors in an international context. Expanding the brand to India was a natural step, as it allowed us to share our culinary passion with our home country and forge deeper connections with people, embracing the extraordinary regional culinary tapestry that defines India. Our journey has been one of exploration and growth, and we are delighted to bring the finest of Pincode to both Dubai and India, uniting cultures through the universal love of food.

How has your role evolved over the last 5 years / from your time at Azure Hospitality?

In 2002, I embarked on my professional journey at Marriott Welcome Hotel, Saket, and from that point forward, I have had the privilege of working with prestigious brands in India, including The Imperial, Shangri-La Hotel, Hyatt Regency Delhi, Sahara Star Hotel Mumbai, and others.

Prior to my association with True Palate Cafe, I served as the President of Azure Hospitality for an impressive 11-year tenure, overseeing operations in both India and abroad. It was in July 2021 when I joined True Palate Cafe Pvt Ltd. and resumed the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO).

What are some of the new trends that you see in the hospitality / F&B industry? Do you think the industry is set to boom or float at a steady pace?

The hospitality industry is continuously evolving, driven by new technologies and innovative food preparation techniques that move away from traditional cooking methods. Despite these changes, consumers will continue to seek comfort food with a fresh sense of innovation, regardless of the cuisine type.

The past three years, marked by the pandemic, have been a crucial period for the F&B and hospitality sectors. Although the industry faced significant challenges, we are determined to recover and progress by introducing new and exciting offerings in our food and restaurant concepts.

With our ambitious expansion plans, we aim to create numerous job opportunities while catering to diverse audiences and demographics in both India and abroad. We are confident that our approach will resonate with a wide range of customers and contribute to the growth and success of our business.

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