Friday, 30 August 2013

How Vikram Bakshi and McDonald’s Became Estranged Bedfellows

By Sourish Bhattacharyya

THERE’S obviously more than what meets the eye in the McDonald’s India-Vikram Bakshi saga. It now appears that Bakshi has been upset with McDonald’s for what he regards as undue favours shown by the fast food behemoth to its joint venture partner for the west and south, Hardcastle Restaurants Private Limited (HRPL), which was elevated to a “development licensee” in 2010. HRPL is owned by Banwari Lal and Amit Jatia.
Following the change of status, according to sources privy to this heartburn, HRPL, which had reported a loss of Rs 18.9 crore in FY2009-10 (the Connaught Plaza Restaurants Limited, CPRL, headed by Bakshi had made a profit of Rs 9.78 crore that year), was in the black by Rs 18.77 crore in FY2010-11. Here’s how it happened according to the sources (Bakshi refused to comment on the matter and the Indian Restaurant Spy is just reporting the facts as they unravel).
McDonald’s, and this is one of the major sore points, reduced HRPL’s royalty from 5 per cent to 3 per cent after its change of status. HRPL also retired its debt of about Rs 180 crore with funds brought in by private equity (PE) players — Bay Capital Investment Managers (Rs 59 crore), Indus Hospitality Fund (Rs 152 crore) and Treeline Asia Master Fund Singapore (Rs 25 crore) — into Westpoint Leisure Point, a company controlled by the Jatia family, which in turn loaned this amount to TripleA Food Pvt Ltd, which went on to loan this money further to HRPL, which had become its wholly owned subsidiary.
As a result of this complicated financial arrangement, HRPL was able to do away with the 5 per cent interest expense it was paying to McDonald’s. By mid-2010, after HRPL became a “development licensee”, say the sources privy to the battle of wills, McDonald’s wrote off its shares (it was a 50 per cent partner) in favourt of HRPL for just 0.1 per cent. McDonald’s, the sources allege, wrote off 99.9 per cent of its equity in Hardcastle for US$20,000.
Following HRPL’s change of status, the Jatias executed a reverse merger of the entities into a shell company named Westlife Development Limited, which has recently been the subject of scathing investigations by well-known financial journalist Sucheta Dalal (she was the one who exposed Harshad Mehta’s stock market manipulations) in Moneylife. The Indian Restaurant Spy doesn’t lay claim to any financial expertise, so we’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the two articles, which haven’t been contested by either Westlife or HRPL, whose links are given here:
Bakshi’s CRPL, meanwhile, continued to pay the interest expense and the higher royalty, which strained its relations with McDonald’s beyond redemption, and yet it made a bigger profit (Rs 20.4 crore, compared with Rs 18.77 crore). The friction, say sources, has its genesis in Bakshi not accepting what he saw as preferential treatment being given to the Jatia entity. CRPL, they say, is the better performer and yet it wasn't upgraded to development licensee. Was the Khan Market fiasco, then, merely an opportunity that McDonald’s grabbed to fix a recalcitrant JV partner? The truth may come out in installments, but it certainly will.

Did Delhi HC’s Khan Market Ruling Cost Vikram Bakshi His Job? Bakshi Denies Link & Says ‘MD Issue’ is in the ‘Legal Domain’

(This is an updated post that incorporates Vikram Bakshi’s response. Fairness demands that he has his say. We’ll keep you posted on the developments in this story.)

By Sourish Bhattacharyya

A TERSE public notice issued by McDonald’s India indicates that times are a-changing in the fast food chain that has grown remarkably — its 250-plus outlets now serve over 6.5 lakh customers a day — since it entered India in 1996.
The notice, which appears on Page 14 of The Economic Times, New Delhi, on Friday, August 29, informs the general public that “Mr Vikram Bakshi has ceased to be the Managing Director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants Private Limited (CPRL), having its registered office at 13, Tolstoy Marg, New Delhi-110001, and its corporate office at 13-A, Jor Bagh Market, New Delhi-110003, pursuant to the expiration of Mr Bakshi’s term as Managing Director on 17th July 2013”. It goes on to say, “The general public is hereby informed and put to notice that CPRL is now being managed by its Board of Directors.”
Responding to this post, Bakshi in a text message to Indian Restaurant Spy said, “This matter of the managing director is in the legal domain now and therefore I am not in a position to say anything at this stage. However, I continue being a Director and JV Partner with control of 50 per cent equity in the JV Company. I shall respond to all queries in due course.”
CPRL is a joint venture company that McDonald’s India set up with Bakshi, an affable self-made entrepreneur who is also a real estate developer, to run the chain’s outlets in the north and the east. Amit Jatia’s Hardcastle Restaurants Private Limited (HRPL) was the joint venture partner for the west and the south till it got upgraded to “development licencee” status in 2010, which, according to a McDonald’s  India media release issued then ” (, is given only to a partner whose “financial strength, viability, profitability and long-term sustainability of the business is assured”. CRPL is yet to get that status.
Has Bakshi paid the price for what is described in the trade as the Khan Market snafu, which apparently didn’t go down well with the chain’s top brass? McDonald’s India only got bad press (and an adverse Delhi High Court ruling) when it was evicted last month from the three-floor premises it was occupying in Khan Market. The premises belonged to an octogenarian widow, Niamat Kaur, who asked McDonald’s to either vacate the property as the nine-year lease had expired in 2010, or renew the lease after paying the prevailing market rent.
In the case heard by the Delhi High Court, which saw retired Chief Justice A.P. Shah acting as arbitrator and top lawyer, Harish Salve, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, McDonald’s was not only evicted by Justice Manmohan Singh, but also asked to pay the market rent at the rate of Rs 11 lakh per month from February 11, 2010, the date of expiry of the lease deed.
Justice Singh came down heavily on McDonald’s India and Bakshi when he observed: “Vikram Bakshi, managing director of the petitioner company, is aware about the actual rent in Khan Market. Even he lives in Jor Bagh. He is running 117 restaurants in prime areas of India. He has real estate business also ... it is not believable that the petitioner is not aware about the market rent of Khan Market area.”
Bakshi, however, denied any link between the ruling and his position in the company. “The Khan Market ruling has nothing whatsoever to do with the re-election of the managing director,” he said. “We had a proper extension letter from our landlady. But as we have said before, we shall abide by the decision of the Delhi High Court, where an appeal is pending.”
Ironically, just in June, opening the largest McDonald’s India outlet at the Great India Place, Noida, Bakshi had said CPRL plans to invest up to Rs 500 crore to double the total number of the fast-food chain’s outlets in the north and the east to 300 by 2015. This year, he said, the company will add 45 outlets to its present spread of 152 stores.
American corporations are particularly sensitive to adverse court rulings and in this case McDonald’s India and CRPL came across as being insensitive to an elderly woman. Was Khan Market, despite his categorical denial, the real reason for the unseating of Vikram Bakshi?

Look Out for Teppanyaki Restaurant Benihana Opening at Epicuria, Nehru Place

By Sourish Bhattacharyya

The facade of a Benihana outlet in the United States.
Image courtesy of
THE COUNTDOWN has started for the country’s first Benihana to open its doors, a little less than 50 years after Olympic wrestler-turned-ice-cream-truck-driver Hiroaki ‘Rocky’ Aoki launched the first with $20,000 at West 56th Street in New York City. Benihana (Japanese for ‘red flower’) is an international chain of teppanyaki grill and sushi restaurants that are famous for their theatrical chefs, who juggle spatulas and eggs as they dish out their trademark preparations.
The catchy art work on Epicuria's Facebook page. Go to
Having inspired copycats across the world, including TK’s at Hyatt Regency New Delhi, Benihana has grown into a 116-strong chain of company-owned and franchised restaurants in 17 countries. Its colourful thrice-married founder, who briefly also ran a pornographic magazine named Genesis, died in 2008, four years after getting embroiled in a legal dispute with his family.
The restaurant chain was eventually bought by the private equity fund, Angelo Gordon & Company, for $249 million in 2012. The deal, explained, “will take the company private, dropping the curtain on a painfully public family drama that’s played out over the years”. Rocky’s son, electro-house deejay Steve Aoki, who is famous for showering cakes on his audiences, completed a successful concert tour of India last year. (Please read the clarification sent by R.J. Ferrara of Benihana of Tokyo. I have appended it below. It make the corporate structure of the restaurant chain that much clearer. Thank you, Mr Ferrara.)
India’s first Benihana will open at Epicuria, the new food hub at New Delhi’s busy business district, Nehru Place, owned by the brother of the talented fashion designer Varun Bahl. It has names like Chicago Pizza Kitchen, Fio and KFC vying for the attention of Metro commuters and office-goers, but Epicuria is making news because of ramp model Joey Matthew’s immensely successful Kerala Express restaurant. Benihana’s theatricality will be a bright new addition to this foodie destination.
What is Benihana all about? I’ll let its website ( do the talking on the ‘Benihana experience’.
“At the heart of the Benihana experience,” the website says, “is the teppanyaki table, around which guests gather and enjoy a meal expertly prepared and cooked to perfection on a steel grill, right before their eyes — by a chef who is as much entertainer as culinary master.
“The meal begins with a delicate Japanese onion soup, followed by a salad with ginger dressing. The chef will prepare your chicken, beef or seafood, along with vegetables, hibachi-style, on the sizzling grill surface. Be sure to enjoy the show, because Benihana chefs literally play with your food as they cook it.
“Your entrĂ©e will be served with homemade dipping sauces and steamed rice, or if you prefer, Benihana’s mouthwatering hibachi chicken rice. You may also order tempura, sushi and specialty rolls.” That’s a tempting spread. Must go and try it, and wash it down with sake served in Benihana’s signature tiki mugs, especially the one modelled after a hotei, a tubby Buddha-like figure with an expansive smile and hands raised in the air.

This note from R.J. Ferrara from the New York offices of Benihana of Tokyo makes the corporate structure of the restaurant chain crystal clear to business reporting novices like me!

Benihana Inc. and Benihana of Tokyo, which owns along with a local partner the Benihana in New Delhi, are in fact two different and separate companies with different territories, but operating under the same brand.
In 1983, in order to raise capital to grow the Benihana brand worldwide, while maintaining control over the quality of Benihana, Rocky Aoki chose to take part of the Benihana chain public. As a result, Benihana of Tokyo, the founding company which created the Benihana brand and concept, remained privately owned, controlling the territories of Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, Africa, and Asia. Benihana Incorporated (BI), the subsidiary company to former Benihana National Corporation (BNC) which was the company that went public, has control over the continental United States, the Caribbean, and South America.
Angelo Gordon (separate from Benihana of Tokyo), the private equity firm that you cited in your post, owns territory rights to the continental US, Caribbean and South America. The buyout in 2012 resulted in Benihana Inc. and their territories going private.
After passing away in 2008, Rocky Aoki, whom owned Benihana of Tokyo outright, left the company to his wife, Keiko Ono Aoki, and the RHA Trust (Rocky H. Aoki Trust). The new restaurant in New Delhi falls within the territory of Benihana of Tokyo, and is owned by Benihana of Tokyo and a local Indian partner.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Dhaba All Set to Go Places with Stand-Alone Brand

By Sourish Bhattacharyya
WITH average daily sales of Rs 2 lakh (and with weekends delivering Rs 3 lakh-plus a day), Dhaba at The Claridges, Aurangzeb Road, serves up delicious returns for every inch of its 1,800 square feet (and its total area, by the way, includes the dispensing kitchen). It has been pulling it off since 1984 with a kitschy decor, old Bollywood numbers, cheek-by-jowl seating and the legendary draw of its Balti Meat. But as Dhaba prepares for its 40th birthday next autumn, it is getting ready to spread its wings.
Dhaba has been a consistent heavy hitter since 1984 on the
strength of its authentic menu and the warmth of its ambience
The new stand-alone brand, Dhaba by The Claridges -- opening at DLF Place, Saket, and The Hub, the country's first 'food mall' at DLF Cyber Park, Gurgaon, before the year-end -- will have completely different vibes. For starters, the two outlets will occupy larger space (4,000 square feet at DLF Place, Saket, and 2,400 square feet at The Hub) and have more seating (120 and 100, respectively). The key differentiator, though, will be APC (average price per cover) -- Rs 700-750 with one beverage (beer at these restaurants will be priced at Rs 100).
The music will be contemporary Bollywood. The servers will sport short kurtas, cargoes and Aldo shoes to convey of Indian cuisine going global. The menu will be studded with instant hits such as sheermal rolls, bun maska omelette and fruit-flavoured lassi (some of the flavours are unusual: jamun, pear, plum and kiwi).
The Great Kebab Factory, a UMAK Hospitality product which has spread its wings to 18 locations (including Bangkok and Muscat), has shown the way for five-star restaurant brands seeking to establish an independent identity for the country's growing mall market. Dhaba by The Claridges comes backed by an impressive lineage. The only way it can tank is by not delivering its promises, which look highly unlikely.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

AD Singh Goes Lean to Roll Out 20 New Restaurants & Bars by 2014-end

AD Singh's shares his success mantra for these tough times: trim project costs, limit seating and space, source local ingredients, rejig your HR policies and hold on to good people by making them partners or giving them Employee Stock Options (ESOPs), and go for acquisitions and mergers.

By Sourish Bhattacharyya
AD SINGH is the most unlikely restaurateur -- he set out to be an engineer, did not make it to an IIT so he went and completed his education in America (Lafayette College), became a boxwallah, and wrote restaurant reviews on the side. Yet, today, the "passion-driven entrepreneur" has become synonymous with new restaurant concepts -- starting with Olive Bar & Kitchen, which made fine dining fun at a time when it seemed like an impossible dream -- that make people in the industry sit up and wonder why those ideas didn't strike them.

Guppy by Ai, AD Singh's newest restaurant, cost him
20 per cent of what it took him to open its predecessor
at the MGF Metropolitan Mall in Saket, New Dellhi
Backed by funding from the Aditya Birla Group and ready to roll out 20 new restaurants and bars by 2014-end, AD today has a new operating philosophy to keep up with the straitened times, though he maintains "the future of the food business isn't as gloomy as the economy". Being lean is AD's new mantra. He says he's "trying to develop a model for tough times" and his new restaurants will reflect his new philosophy of delivering style and substance without searing the wallets of his investors.

AD was able to deliver his latest baby, the laidback Japanese restaurant Guppy by Ai at New Delhi's newest hotspot, Lodi Colony Market, at 20 per cent of the cost of its predecessor, ai, which opened six years ago at the MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket, but had to shut down after being hugely successful. The old ai sprawled across 13-14,000 square feet and had a nightclub, The Love Hotel, attached to it; Guppy by Ai has 2,200 square feet and 45 covers per seating. Likewise, Le Bistro du Parc, AD's other new venture, across the park literally from the hardy perennial, Flavors, makes up for limited space with great everyday French food and an ambience that invites you to stay on.
AD Singh: passion-driven entrepreneur
"You don't need Italian marble to deliver a great dining experience. We need to combine charm and affordability," says AD, who has halved the running costs of his restaurants by trimming expenses and sourcing good local ingredients, such as yellowfin tuna from the Andamans. He mentions as a role model the success of The Rose at Hauz Khas Village (, a chic 12-room boutique hotel with a garden cafe and a spa, which cost its promoters all of Rs 80 lakh.
"For the longest time, the real winners in our business have been the landlords," says AD, "but we are seeing signs of maturity in the market. The larger real estate players are looking at restaurants that last for the long term. They want restaurants that will be around at least for the nine years of the lease term."
A great one for  sprawling, independent spaces,  AD has now signed up with DLF for two new restaurant concepts -- one of them being the first Olive Cafe -- at India's first dedicated food mall, The Hub at the Cyber Park in Gurgaon. "I am quite confident about The Hub," says AD. "It can be Gurgaon's No. 1 food destination because people want choice."
AD has also given a new direction to his HR policies. The shift has been inspired by the successful transitions made by his former staffers. "Three of the most popular new places in Delhi have been opened by people who have worked with me," he says, listing Rara Avis (Laurent Guiraud), Imperfecto (Nuria Rodriguez) and PCO (Vaibhav Singh). AD's is the first restaurant company in the country to offer "substantial partnerships to our managers".
The first beneficiaries have been the talented executive chef of Olive Bangalore, Manu Chandra, and Olive Mumbai's long-time business development manager, Chetan Rampal, who have been made partners in the company set up by AD to manage Monkey Bar and Like That Only in Bangalore, and roll out similar gastropubs across the country. AD reckons this company will be valued at Rs 25 crore by the end of this year.
Likewise, AD has extended the ESOPs offer to 14 of his managers. "This is a key process in our development because our managers have come of age," he says. "It shows our willingness to share the upside to attract and retain talent." For another powerhouse of talent in his team, Sabyasachi 'Saby' Gorai, AD has tapped into the young man's passion for teaching by setting up the Olive Culinary Academy, whose first batch of 14 graduates has just entered the work force.
Acquisition and mergers are AD's next big step. The country is teeming with bright young restaurateurs who are struggling against adverse market conditions. AD is offering them an opportunity to come on board so that "we can script exciting F&B stories together" and "work on building a common platform for sourcing, real estate tie-ups, back-end controls and talent management". To potential partner restaurants, AD is also talking about the near future when his company gets listed and together they get to earn from its market valuation.
All this corporate talk makes me nervous. Organisations lose their soul when the bean counters (read PE funds and the rest of the men in suits) start calling the shots. But AD's heart still beats for the right cause. "We see ourselves not as a chain, but as a collection of boutique restaurants." he says. That's reassuring, coming from a man who brought fun back to the business of dining at a time when fuddy-duddy five-stars ruled the roost.

Monday, 26 August 2013

From the Philippines to The Manor, The Farm Experience Comes to Delhi

By Sourish Bhattacharyya
THE FARM is two hours from downtown Manila, but it’ll soon be half-an-hour (if and only if it is not raining, and Delhi isn’t paralysed!) from downtown Saddi Dilli. The award-winning spa resort, owned by Avalon Resorts CMD and BITS Pilani Civil Engineering alumnus Naresh Khattar in a part of the Philippines that seems straight out of paradise, has tied up with The Manor, the boutique hotel at Friends Colony (West), which is best known for its celebrated restaurant, Indian Accent.
Come November and we’ll see the members-only Salus Per Aquam, The Farm’s much-celebrated spa famous for its colon hydrotherapy and sea salt scrubs, open at the back of The Manor, a hop-skip-and-jump away from Indian Accent. Back in the Philippines, The Farm operates out of a 48-hectare coconut plantation and it has its own waterfall, lagoon, organic garden and a menagerie of free-floating animals.
The Farm's Alive! restaurant celebrates the power of raw,
vegan, organically produced food picked daily from the
adjacent vegetable garden.
Image courtesy of
At its Alive! vegan restaurant, organic is the buzzword and raw food is elevated to a new level of finesse; even the water is treated with herbs picked fresh daily from the vegetable garden. Food is not exposed to fire; instead, it is cooked on very low heat to maintain the nutritional integrity of the ingredients. In the words of The Farm’s website ( “We use specially designed dehydrators instead of cooking to give raw foods a variety of textures resembling cooked foods, without destroying the nutritional properties and enzymes of the foods. We serve warm soups rather than cooked hot soups in order to preserve the valuable nutritional building blocks the body needs to continuously rebuild and renew itself, thus slowing the aging process and giving you energy and vitality.”
Not surprisingly, the owner of The Kirana Shop at Mehar Chand Market, Ragini Mehra, can’t just stop talking about the food at The Farm. “Raw food has never tasted better,” she says, and recommends that we buy a copy of Raw!, The Farm’s cookbook teeming with ideas for wholesome vegan meals. Indian Accent’s star chef Manish Mehrotra has spent some time at The Farm’s kitchen to pick up ideas for dishes that he can introduce here. This winter, we are in for a vegan treat.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

What’s Bakshish Dean Up To? Ask Johnny Rockets

By Sourish Bhattacharyya

MASTER CHEF Bakshish Dean, formerly with Amit Burman and Rohit Aggarwal’s Lite Bite Foods after a dazzling stint at The Park, has of late been a mystery wrapped in an enigma. All that we know is that he’s Executive Director of Prime Gourmet Private Limited, a restaurant company floated by luxury real estate developers Vishal Chaudhry and Sachin Goel, who now preside over Keystone Asset Holdings, with Gaurav Sharma.

Infiniti Bay, a real estate development on National Highway 17A at Mormugao, Goa, was the first big project to be rolled out a decade ago by Chaudhry — a former event manager and television producer who has also represented Princess Yachts — and Goel, who is said to also own Subway franchises. They then collaborated in running the company, Restaurant Concepts, which operated one of the early Gurgaon eateries named East 101 Oriental Bistro at the Global Business Park, DLF City Phase III. Some of you may even remember Chaudhry’s first venture into the hospitality business with Suede Bar & Grill.

Dean’s wife, the vivacious Rupali (they met at IHM Ahmedabad) keeps hinting at how the chef is busy perfecting the art of flipping burgers. What business does the master of fine dining have with burgers? Well, the answer is Johnny Rockets (, an Aliso Viejo, California-headquartered, diner-style hamburger chain, which was incorporated in 1986, and now operates 330 restaurants in 30 American states, 16 nations, 17 Six Flags amusement parks  and 11 Royal Caribbean cruise liners.

The chain, which was bought over earlier in the year by privately held investment firm Sun Capital Partners ( from RedZone Capital Management, has sealed a deal with Prime Gourmet to roll out 20 outlets, starting with New Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, followed by Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. “There is a large, growing segment of upper middle class and middle class Indians with a high propensity to eat out,” Goel is quoted as saying in a Johnny Rockets statement. He adds: “With its menu of all-American favourites, timeless ambience and engaging dining experience, Johnny Rockets will satisfy a consumer need for a quality product in the QSR and Casual Dining arenas.”

The Johnny Rockets statement points out that a Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research ( report has pegged the compound annual growth rate of the QSR segment in India at 30 per cent until 2015. “This growth is three times that of the Indian foodservice sector as a whole, and is attributed to a younger population, larger disposable incomes, higher rate of urbanisation and exposure to western lifestyles,” says the media release, adding: “The National Restaurant Association of India ( also reports that 50 per cent of consumers dine out at least once every three months.”

The folks at Johnny Rockets are upbeat. “With a population of more than 1.2 billion, second only to China, there is a tremendous audience for our all-American dining experience,” says Steve Devine, President, Johnny Rockets International. Seeing the experience of other QSR chains, notably the most recent addition, Chili’s, he has a good reason to be betting on India.

Riyaz Amlani and Zorawar Kalra team up for global tandoor restaurant

By Sourish Bhattacharyya

THE hospitality world is abuzz with talk about the new projects that are to be unveiled in the next couple of months and the whispers are loudest about the grand alliance of restaurant operator Riyaz Amlani, CEO and Managing Director of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality (, and Zorawar Kalra, who sold his Punjab Grill stake to Amit Burman to be able to roll out new cuisine concepts.

With the blessings of strategic investor and brand builder Gaurav Goenka of Mirah Hospitality (, Amlani, creator of the successful Smoke House Deli and Mocha franchises, and Kalra are working together to turn the top floor and rooftop of what used to be Suresh Kalmadi’s Village Bistro Restaurant Complex at Hauz Khas Village into a global tandoor restaurant. The restaurant overlooks the 13th-century Hauz Khas reservoir, whose water has turned green because of evident lack of care, and the well-maintained madrasa built by the mid-14th century Delhi Sultanate ruler, Firuz Shah Tughlaq.

The view from the rooftop of the Village Bistro Restaurant Complex, where the global tandoor restaurant of Riyaz Amlani and Zorawar Kalra is set to come up within months. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The buzz is that the restaurant will be named Tinur, after the Akkadian word for tandoor (Akkadian, incidentally, is an extinct language) found in the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, and it will trace the journey of the clay oven from our sub-continent to Iran and Central Asia, and thereafter to the rest of the world. Of course, the restaurant is at present a scooped-out shell and before it takes off, Kalra will open the Masala Library, a new concept restaurant offering a cutting-edge pan-Indian menu with touches of molecular gastronomy, at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the workplace of over 400,000 people.

After Mumbai, Kalra will open the second Masala Library in Bangalore, and the more value-for-money Made in Punjab at The Hub, India’s first restaurant mall in the DLF Cyber Park in Gurgaon. Amlani, who started life as a shoe salesman and studied entertainment management in America, is launching three more Smoke House Delis in the months ahead, which will lift the number of this accessible fine-dining brand to seven. These are busy days for successful restaurateurs.