Folding yourself into the community is one success factor that every restaurant can implement. The degree to which you have time to devote to the community may differ, but at the end of the day it is a success factor that can’t be ignored. For restaurateur Raveen Aora, it’s a passion.
Aora and his wife, Clara, developed the Indian Plaza in Tempe, Arizona as a center for education, compassion and celebration of diversity and community involvement. Along with the center the plaza is home to their award winning restaurant, The Dhaba.
Having served over 1 million customers to date, this entrepreneur, restaurateur and philanthropist believes that his success is due to the community, and he believes in giving back to those that support him. This husband and wife team have some unique experiences of giving back – they have donated land to the city for a crosswalk to aid wheelchair users, sponsored the light rail station and student associations at nearby Arizona State University, and worked with Tempe outreach agencies and charities such as Autism Speaks, No Kid Hungry, Make A Wish and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. For Aora, it is not just about financially supporting the community, as they are often found in the middle of the activities, providing their time to the community, as well.
These good deeds have not gone unnoticed. India Plaza has been recognized with awards such as Best of Phoenix, Best of the East Valley, Best of the Light Rail, and Tempe’s Good Neighbor of the Year, Honorable Mention. The business has also been a nominee for the National Restaurant Association Good Neighbor award and Most Ethical Business award from the Better Business Bureau.
While the community is key to their mission and success, they still concentrate on providing the best food and experience at the Dhaba. Having been named “Best New Restaurant” by the New Times, The Dhaba brings diners of all backgrounds the creative and simple home-style foods of Northern India. Endorsed by the American Vegetarian Association, Gluten Intolerance Group and Healthy Dining Finder, The Dhaba offers a variety of delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to diners.
This combination of good food, good deeds and good business has made The Dhaba and Indian Plaza a staple in the Tempe area. Aora has set the bar very high and is an example of success and humility for the entire restaurant community.
There is a lot you can do to support your community – it is just good business, and it makes your heart feel great!