In the third episode of Decode with UrbanPiper, Nikhil Gupta and Abhijit Gupta, founders of The Pizza Bakery, joined us for an insightful chat. The two brothers from Bengaluru run The Pizza Bakery, which serves authentic Neapolitan style sourdough pizzas and Paris Panini, which focuses on French street food.
About Nikhil and Abhijit Gupta
Nikhil and Abhijit are both alumni of Lancaster University. Nikhil had a stint at P&G and then served as the Director of Cauvery Ford. Abhijit, or AB as he is better known, had a more creative background. A singer by passion, AB worked at InMobi when it was just starting up, and later moved on to their family-run travel business. Both Nikhil and AB are avid travellers and have been around. They hold experiences in different domains and are very different individuals, but both of them decided to get together to explore their common passion, food! They wanted to build something of their own, rather than just work on what was handed over to them by their parents.
The Story Behind “The Pizza Bakery”
It all began when the two Bangalore boys travelled to Delhi for Nikhil’s friend’s wedding. AB and his brother Nikhil went on a pizza binge, sampling pizzas from a variety of Delhi pizzerias. Intrigued by what they saw, the brothers realized that Bangalore was lacking in good gourmet pizzas. In 2017, AB and Nikhil Gupta opened their pizzeria called The Pizza Bakery, a pizzeria that offers authentic Neapolitan pizza styles to Bangalore's booming pizza-loving population.
The Pizza Bakery serves the original Neapolitan hand-tossed sourdough wood-fired pizza, and like AB says, once you taste a sourdough pizza, you can’t go back to your regular pizza. They did this to differentiate themselves in a market where pizza was very standardized already. The Pizza Bakery also serves a variety of gourmet appetizers, pasta, and desserts in addition to pizzas.
The duo believes that word-of-mouth marketing is the most cost-effective and productive strategy to attract and retain patrons. In a world where traditional means of outbound marketing have to be supplemented with modern forms of marketing, a friend or customer's recommendation might be significantly more intriguing than a banner ad or TV commercial to customers. This is especially true in India, where people discuss food so much. Once they cracked the right recipe, the brothers knew word of mouth would do the rest.
Creating An Experience Around Pizza
Both the brothers believe that creating a great experience around the product is imperative to survive in this industry and scale further. And that is exactly what The Pizza Bakery’s focus is on. This is not restricted to just dine-in, but delivery as well. Even if restaurateurs fall short in other areas, it is critical to provide quality food. Serving high-quality cuisine can help your restaurant gain a positive image and encourage customers to return.
Pivoting to Home Delivery
After a year and a half of the brand’s existence, the duo decided to dabble with delivery. They realized that delivery was booming and they were ready for it, but the product needed a couple of modifications to ensure it retains the same taste and experience even when it is being delivered to someone's home. AB praises his brother for an innovative idea, where the pizza boxes would have reheating instructions printed on them to make it easier for patrons to reheat their pizza the right way and not reheat it in the microwave. I mean, who wants to eat a cold pizza or a pizza that hasn’t been heated properly?
The Pizza Bakery has now expanded operations across Bangalore by venturing into Cloud Kitchens and has also expanded internationally to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Well, we feel this is just the beginning and we will be witnessing these brothers create a global Pizza brand that was born in Namma Bengaluru!
Watch the entire episode of Decode with UrbanPiper featuring Nikhil and Abhijit Gupta on our YouTube channel now!