Navraj Kamboj has just taken on a Phillip Street cafeteria business and swung into action to create a restaurant with a fresh brand and the capacity to serve more customers.

After working in the area for a long time, Navraj jumped at the opportunity to take over an existing business and establish his cafeteria, Beans & Bites. To fulfil his long-term goal of building a profitable and well-known eatery in the Parramatta CBD, that offers “great meals, made accessible to all,” he effectively embarked on a start-up style operation.

Navraj brought Realise Business on board to accomplish this new venture for the business. The advisers helped him navigate alcohol licence requirements, prepare the staffing and menus for higher traffic volumes, and change the brand focus from daytime café to a vibrant pizzeria with longer opening hours and an extended menu.

Help to get on board the light rail transformation

Navraj sought overall support and advice at a peak time – the Parramatta Light Rail project is transforming the business potential of the local area. The Parramatta Light Rail will create new communities, connect great places, and help locals and visitors move around and explore what the region offers.

Realise Business’s expert assistance with operations and marketing has given the owner a head start within a few months. “This has been so valuable as I am a new start-up business”, says Navraj.

Operations and menu

Café owner Navraj was keen to extend trading hours. Through Realise Business advisory sessions he was able to do a self-assessment on his business with questions relating to the current operational parameters of the café. Realise Business adviser Tim Noye helped identify a new focus on maximising higher volumes of foot traffic by assessing and monitoring menu and staff performance.

Working on operations optimisation was the key to good profit potential. The improvements they prioritised were in “speed of service and customer experience,” says Tim.

With extended opening hours, Beans & Bites needed to offer a menu with more variety and flexibility for customers. The menu now provides an all-day breakfast for customers on the go, plus burgers and pizzas. Its other strengths include great Arabica coffee, traditional café fare like banana bread and snacks inspired by Turkish, Italian and Indian cuisines. The pizzas are available in traditional styles or ‘manoosh’ style. Navraj adds, “We also offer the flexibility to create your own pizza or pasta – just tell us your favourite ingredients, and we will make it for you.”

The licence to serve liquor is another critical component for the more expansive enterprise. Alcohol entices a broader audience during the evening opening times, strengthening the business potential. Tim supported the owners as they navigated the relevant licensing to ensure the café additions complied, as this can be tricky for new business owners to navigate. He provided help with self-managing the application for the NSW on-premises licence (café or restaurant), including local council DA, GIPA and ongoing support.

The operational overhaul also focused on preparing for special event days such as Parramatta’s Game Days, which see large crowds, seeking food and beverages in a hurry!

Business reboot and rebrand

The business goal of growing operations to attract more customers had to be matched with an energetic promotional campaign, Navraj consulted Realise Business adviser Sue Walsh. Sue says they worked together on marketing issues “to promote the new restaurant brand – and inform customers that there are new and wider menu options and longer opening hours.”

Changing the brand focus from café to pizzeria meant updating the name to Beans & Bites Pizzeria on physical signage and through social media. The business already had someone managing social media content, including website updates and in-store lightboxes, so Sue added new tactics to their repertoire, “I spent time showing the business how to create and add reels on Instagram,” explains Sue.

Restaurant marketing activities have increased to broaden their customer base. “They are now regularly posting on social media, and promotional materials have been developed to display in the restaurant. A QR code has been placed on the counter to allow customers to give immediate Google reviews and this builds their ranking with Google,” says Sue. She ensured Beans & Bites were listed on the @parramatta website, and in July the business provided a customer offer in the Parramatta Times.

Great results and a positive future direction

Sue observes, “The business is relatively new so there was a great chance to focus their business offer and market it as widely as possible. They have now been open several months and their business continues to grow whilst getting busier.”

The adjusted menu has special offerings, such as a ‘Game Day Pizza’ a smaller and more cost-effective pizza that can be produced quickly and more efficiently and eaten on the run.

On the marketing side, Sue reports that Navraj is very proactive and working hard to market the business and create a more friendly and inviting environment within the restaurant.

By exploring their current business model and broadening their operations and marketing with the help of Realise Business, the owner of Beans & Bites can look forward to optimal output and net profits. Navraj adds, “It is very nice working with both Tim and Sue and they are always ready to support me.”

Special offer

Readers can enjoy a special offer at Beans & Bites, Buy any large pizzas and receive free garlic bread.