Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Café Blue Ginger

by Moiz Damani

Cafe Blue Ginger; the restaurant, initially launched at Café Blue Ginger at Galleria 919, did not do business as expected. Even though with one of the most profound owners; Mr. Hussain Tariq and the food craver Mr. Hassan Raza, the business eventually had to close down for around a year in lieu of some of the problems that it faced.

The location was one of the major strategic uncertainty, since the area was confined to a specific target audience: the students and foreign nationals. The location was not the primary point/place where one could find a restaurant. Even though the location primarily thought of was a posh residential area with a good target market; demographics aimed at students for hangout and foreigners, along with residential owners nearby the place. But the demographics were very much restricted since others could hardly make it to the place, considering the parking space restrictions and location itself. The uncertainty of location had a grave impact on sales, which eventually led to the complete idea being re-considered whether or not to continue.
Secondly, the location was also surrounded with the police residential area, which meant government intervention was most likely to occur. Café Blue Ginger at Galleria 919 had to close down because of reservations from the police regarding security concerns. The business could not thrive well also because it had a lot to look after apart from cuisines, which led them to under perform.

Lastly, one of the most important uncertainties that realized closure was the security threat prevalent in the country. Universities came under attack in early 2010. As a result, university areas were completely well planned and secured, making it impossible for any threat to materialize. Café Blue Ginger at Galleria 919 suffered gravely after that since it was not possible for outsiders to locate the place easily amid security barriers. Also, the location it self was barred from parking, making it inconvenient for the customer to park far too beyond the vicinity of the restaurant. The business thus, had to be closed down.

Never the less, the business has again done its soft relaunch at the corner location on main Zamzama boulevard. The location is ideal for business, however, do pose some uncertainties to the restaurant. Previously, the location was not prone to competition. However, the new place has BUTLERS CHOCOLATE CAFÉ, a very successful and thriving business in the similar industry. Similar is THE DELI, and CAFÉ AYLANTO nearby. The major strategic uncertainty that the business pose to is an already giant competitor with a set customer base existing at Zamzama.

Secondly, the business needs to define its target audience to make sure it has a set customer base. The business owners must realize the possible target audience, their sense of taste, lifestyle and mentality. Most of the elite at Zamzama are professionals; with a peculiar demand of style, along with other offerings. The age group consideration is of most importance at this stage to avoid uncertainties. Cafe Blue Ginger would be available for lunch and dinners, with Eclectic. Mediterranean French, Italian & Continental specialties. The business had predefined its target market. But in order to make sure the business is successful, some aspects such as the cuisine, ambiance and pricing strategies (considering food inflation) have to be looked at.

Since Zamzama Commericial is saturated with many restaurants that cater to the need of consumers for family lunch, and dinners, Café Blue needs to think of a better and unique offering to differentiate from the other existing restaurants. This would avoid a possible strategic uncertainty of collision with restaurants with the same offerings. Pricing also is an uncertainty that needs to be looked; even though the target class is elite, pricing on a variety of occasions are taken into account by customers, especially when the restaurant is booked for family events. With food inflation rising up to maximum levels, the restaurant needs to fix a pricing strategy to satisfy both: the consumer and the business for profits/going concern.
Some of the major strategic uncertainties that were identified in the prior location did realized and had a severe impact on the business. However, the new location is a better decision then the former and some major uncertainties identified include changing demographics, competition, pricing, place, offerings, and the layout/ambiance.

Moiz Damani is presently a student at Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, pursuing an MBA degree with specialization in Finance.

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