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Restaurant Entrepreneur Yadhaven Santheran Shares Insight On How To Thrive In The Ultra Competitive Culinary Industry

Yadhaven Santheran is a restaurant Entrepreneur who has successfully launched 6 Restaurants and Bars. He is now partner & head of Global Hospitality chain Draper Startup House as the Head of Food & Beverage.

Like many driven culinary entrepreneurs, he wasn’t satisfied with his regular job and wanted more. He shared his humble beginning in the industry and its challenges.

“I started off an as English Teacher and realized that was not where my passion was. I quit my job and joined the beverage industry at Raffles Hotel as a Bar Back, washing glasses and cutting fruits for preparation”

Often without following your passion things can get boring and it’s important to find areas that bring excitement and make you want to wake up every day. Yadhaven certainly experienced this talking about his previous jobs “I was not given the chance to explore my creativity. I worked at a couple of dive bars and pubs to gain some form of experience.”

Then one day he had his moment of clarity. Yadhaven says that although he was able to advance in his career, the accomplishments were not fulfilling, and he realized that a lot of young cooks and bartenders were not given the opportunity to flourish creativity. He realized he was working in an industry where skills were earned and not taught and the mindset of old school training methods still existed.

So he did something about it. When he was given an amazing opportunity to join Draper Startup House, there was a purpose-driven message behind it. He says he found a place where he could thrive and pursue his passion continuously. He also enjoyed the opportunity to “enable young minds to succeed in their career paths progressively.”

I asked Yadhaven some specific things that would help young people interested in the Food and Beverage industry over a short conversation. Here are his responses.


What Was Your Biggest Challenge And How Did Your Overcome Them

I was transitioning from the Beverage Sector to Food, people whom I’ve worked with before laughed told me I would never make it in the Food Industry. But that basically gave me a huge motivation to prove the wrong, it was a painful yet fulfilling journey, It still is.

What Would Be Your Advice For A Restaurant Entrepreneur To Manage Finances?

My advice is when your friends are partying you are hustling, when people are swiping right on Tinder, you are Hustling, when people are looking for the next holiday destination, you are Hustling, even when people are on google searching for the best places to eat, you should google these places to learn from your competitors. It’s never easy, but it’s fulfilling. The amount of time and effort you want to to invest in yourself and your passion is how much you will flourish out if it.

How About Personal Growth? How Can They Grow As People?

I would say have an attitude of constant personal development. What can you do today that was better than yesterday? It’s like exercise. You start by doing one push up today, then two tomorrow, then three the day after. Notice that you are constantly making improvements towards what you want to achieve on a daily basis. Everything on your agenda should have this mentality of constant personal development. Whether it’s cooking food, swimming, reading, everything you do has an opportunity to be improved. Do this constantly and you will begin to learn how to create solutions to problems that you thought you would have fixed. You will be 10 steps ahead of the game.

Finally What Is Your Biggest Advice That Can’t Be Negotiated?

Ie would tell any young restaurant entrepreneur to creat your rules and live by them, even if everyone says otherwise. But make sure those rules are well worth it. The only way to make it worth something is by adding value to it by working your butt off. Do not crumble to obstacles and remember there is never a reason to say its too late.

Any Last Thoughts On The Industry?

The food and beverage industry is a brutal yet super fulfilling industry. My advice is to break the rules, think 17 steps ahead of the game, learn from other Chefs mistakes because you cannot afford to make one. Believe in yourself even if the whole world says otherwise. Lastly ask yourself this question every moment as you are living this passion. Do I want to be an Amazing Chef or Do I love to Cook?

Connect With Yadhaven

Instagram | Linkedin

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