Little did 29-year-old Himanshu Gupta, who assists his father in the family's construction business realise when he stepped into the Barcelos casual diner here that he would end up as a franchisee of the South African group that has a global presence. The second outlet in the city that opened in south Delhi's Hauz Khas Village on Friday, also has a Sangria bar that serves 21 varieties of the cocktail.
"I was fascinated when I walked in (about a year ago). Repeated visits made me realise I wanted to open one and, well, here it is," Gupta told IANS ahead of the opening of the 90-cover eatery.
"I don't know a thing about the hospitality but one has to take a chance. It's going to be a learning experience for me," a confident Gupta asserted.
Barcelos is a town in Portugal and hence the Portuguese theme is reflected through the interiors and designs of the restaurant, focusing on modern and antique art for the interior.
Spread over 3,600 sq ft, the outlet has raw and rustic interiors. Each wall of the restaurant depicts the story of Portugal which is very unique and attractive. Famous personalities and the different shades of Portugal have been painted on the walls. Also fascinating is a 3D painting of a Portuguese street, creating the authentic ambience of a Portugal town inside the restaurant.
"Each Barcelos might be different from the inside but there are four elements that have to be there: The Legend of Barcelos, a drawing of Barcelos town, a world map and the Barcelos logo," Gupta explained.
The Legend of Barcelos is the story of how a dead rooster miraculously intervened in proving the innocence of a man who had been sentenced to death after being falsely accused. To this end, a stylish rooster in red occupies a prominent place in the Barcelos logo
Wasn't it taking a chance opening in Hauz Khas Village, already choc-a-bloc with a variety of eateries?
"Most of them are cafes or discos. We are positioning ourselves as family restaurant. To this end, we play mood music with a mixture of jazz and vocals in different languages. This music is common to all Barcelos outlets worldwide," Gupta said.
Barcelos is famous for its flame-grilled Peri Peri menu and has created its own unique following by introducing to the discerning Indian foodie its own brand of innovation. Barcelos revolutionized the concept of the burger in India by presenting it in different colors! That apart, has created a niche with innovative salads, beverages like Molecular drinks, boozy shakes and by introducing India's first Sangria Bar.
"We are grateful to all the love and acceptance which we have got from our first restaurant in India and hence we believe that our new restaurant will also be very well accepted here. We are happy that with a combination of superior service from South Africa with the blend of peri peri flavor, we have been successful to bring a world-class casual dining experience to the Indian customer," said Barcelos chairman Costa Mazzis.
Barcelos India Business Head Rohit Malhotra said: "Since our first store (in India), we spent time in understanding our customers, working on the menu and finding right locations to open our outlets. We are looking forward to open about 40 stores by end 2019."
With a single operation founded in Pretoria in 1993, Barcelos has grown exponentially and began franchising in 1998. It today has a presence in 17 countries with 120 outlets.