In the restaurant industry, Indian cuisine continues to be a largely overlooked and underutilized market. A number of emerging brands are hoping to change that.
Ali Dewjee is the founder of popular Chicago fast casual chain Bombay Wraps. Bombay Wraps prioritizes fresh, delicious ingredients—including chicken tikka, cheese paneer, pickled onions and cilantro mint chutney paired with veggies and yogurt—slow-cooked each morning. Wraps are prepared and served Chipotle-style.
Upon moving to Chicago, Dewjee and his wife quickly discovered that the food experience they grew up with was not readily available in the city. With Bombay Wraps, they hoped to “break the misconception that Indian food or ethnic food has to be a hole in the wall.” He and his wife wanted to craft a place that offered authentic ingredients and flavor combinations in an environment that was modern, clean, and accessible to people of any background.
“My job is really to grow the category,” says Dewjee. “I’m always looking across the board collaborating with my fellow Indian restaurateurs. I don’t really look at them as competitors but as collaborators for how to expand the category.”
Since its establishment in 2010, Bombay Wraps has expanded to three locations, a “revamped” food truck, and about ten pop-ups each month. The company has its own delivery app in addition to partnerships with a number of delivery companies.
For Dewjee, the best way to create a sustainable, long-lasting brand is to “respect your team.” Culture is essential. “Help your team engage and grow,” adds Dewjee, “because that’s where the battle is won or lost.”
Listen to the episode above to learn more about the future of Bombay Wraps and the importance of tracking sales and consumer adoption, and check out the Emerging Brands podcast to learn about other rising brands and innovators in the restaurant industry. You can also download the Top 150 Emerging Brands Guide to check out the full list of emerging brands from Foodable Labs.