Salt N Pepper is conveniently located in Shoppes of Maraval near to Papa John’s. The restaurant is relatively new just opening in November 2014. They serve Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Their serving portions are quite reasonable and their rates are comparable. Whilst this is not a huge restaurant it fits the description of a more intimate and updated take out/walk in type of set up. The customer still gets waiter service if they decide to dine in. One should note that gluten free and fodmap dieters can comfortably eat at Salt N Pepper. My order was some aloo paratha which I requested gluten free paratha. Their food was good. Yet again I am amazed at the clear distinction between Indian paratha and Trinidadian paratha as they are two totally different things. I have zero complaints about their staff as they were helpful and attentive.
The restaurant is fairly new and their focus seems to be creating authentic and quality food. I feel as though a few more things could have been done. Of course I am not judging because maybe these things will be rolled out as part of their strategic plan or even marketing plan in the future. But let us not be oblivious to the fact that I have been in marketing, hospitality and tourism for a minimum of eight years.
- Ambiance: I loved the look it is almost like an Indian diner (the Indian version of the American diner). However, dining out is an experience and even diners set the mood and tone with some music. I would have loved to feel immersed in India while dining. This would have added some vibe and pulled some patrons to return or visit for this experience.
- Staff: The staff is so sweet and kind. Whilst I noted only two persons I did hear faint Indian accents echoing from the kitchen. I would have loved to at least interacted at some point with authentic Indian staff to make me feel as if I really went to India without leaving Trinidad. Perhaps this can be implemented where a staff member maintains a role to visit the dining customers when they are eating and simply ask about the customer’s dining experience. Another idea is to interact with the customer by serving them or retrieving their plates.
- Marketing: Social media, word of mouth, print advertisement seems to be the “run of the mill” with their advertising. I am not too sure how an average day is gauged in terms of number of patrons and dollars. But during my time there which was just after lunch I only saw about ten persons including myself and a friend. I completely understand that their space is small but I believe marketing is about racking up those numbers. I suggest they tap into product differentiation and try other target markets. I did notice there is some advertisement of similar services offered on their website but I am curious about their leads and follow up on this. They can explore collaboration as a supplier for expos (career fairs, school events or industrial events) and catering for industrial meetings (the industrial sector is forever flooded with meetings and tea plates or snack boxes). They can investigate a partnership with Eat 868 the local gourmet delivery service. Nonetheless this is the digital era and so much can be done for free with access to social media platforms. It basically takes some time to just be creative and plan ways of connecting with the target market and keeping them up to date with the happenings of the restaurant from menu changes to deals and closing times.
Well that’s my two cents they can take it or leave it. Notwithstanding, Salt N Pepper has the right formula. Their food is good and once the product is top notch and the service is okay this model can function. However, this is the world of business so room for improvement will set Salt N Pepper apart from its competitors. Trinidad already has quite a few Indian restaurants. Although they are located in several parts of the country clear distinctions in a well marketed brand will determine whether the clients choose the competitors over Salt N Pepper.
So if you have not been there yet…
Go check them out and take some friends with you!
Let’s Go Trinidad and Tobago