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Rohit Sachdev’s Drive for Experiential Excellence

Written by Gastronomer Lifestyle
A San Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Featured Article

Innovation Issue, 2024

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Sparkling conversations: leaders in hospitality

An NYU Stern School of Business alumnus, Rohit Sachdev’s interest in gastronomy flourished during his time in at the Big Apple, when he would explore establishments by the likes of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mario Batali, Danny Meyer, Masaharu Morimoto, Stephen Starr, and Keith McNally. These experiences serve as the inspiration for Rohit’s current endeavours at Soho Hospitality, and with a dedication to innovation and a unique vision, the chief executive officer continues to shape the company’s trajectory in the dynamic world of hospitality.

Q: What is the inspiration behind your latest venue, El Santo, and how will it contribute to the overall culinary scene in Bangkok?
A: I’ve always felt that Bangkok lacked a true Mexican lifestyle restaurant that reflects Soho Hospitality standards, with existing options falling into either very casual or fine dining categories. Our goal was to craft something authentic, in line with the current trend of exploring cuisines more profoundly. We aim to represent the ingredients and flavour profiles associated with these cuisines, believing that this aspect has been somewhat overlooked in the current scene.

Q: What sets your new venue apart from others in the city, and how do you ensure it offers a unique and memorable experience for guests?
A: Catering to the Millennial and Gen Z crowd, we believe that crafting a memorable dining experience involves blending various elements through thoughtful design. Leveraging our experience in interior design, we pay close attention to the finer details and programming. Our focus extends beyond just entertainment to aspects like lighting, table setups, interiors, and beverage offerings. The space itself is divided into three distinct areas: a cosy indoor setting with 60 seats, an outdoor space reminiscent of Mexico City, and a lively bar area showcasing an impressive collection of 76 agave varieties.

Q: With increasing awareness for sustainability, how does Soho Hospitality incorporate eco-friendly practices in its venues?
A: Our commitment to sourcing locally is a constant effort. Across all our restaurants, we also make a conscientious effort to manage food waste by packaging it daily for compost or donation. In terms of sustainability, we’ve taken steps to offset our carbon footprint, such as planting 15,000 mangrove trees in Myanmar. However, I believe there’s always more we can do.

Q: How do you ensure that your venues are adaptable to changing consumer preferences and global trends?
A: I’m fascinated in general by the evolution of the consumer cycle and how Gen Z is driving new business decisions. With the enormous amount of spending power they have, it’s very important to understand the way they think—the way they think differently. When developing our programming, we meticulously consider their ideologies.

Q: Can you give us a glimpse into Soho Hospitality’s future plans or any upcoming projects?
A: Having successfully launched Above Eleven in Dubai, we’re now expanding more into the Middle East. While Thailand was the initial ground for introducing new brands, our strategy now is to slow down and concentrate on expansion elsewhere. However, we’re set to unveil a nightclub here soon. Having lived in New York for a decade, I always felt that Bangkok lacked some of that New York nightlife eccentricity. The club, spanning 800 sqm, is scheduled to open in May, but that’s all I can share for now!

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