This 30 day series will follow the day to day lives of 3 dudes who have been given the responsibility of opening a mallu restaurant in the city of Hyderabad. None of us have any experience in this vertical prior to this and we are all learning as we go. I thought it would been an interesting idea to join my mates in this quest and document our journey day to day and learn a little bit about the restaurant business and a little bit about ourselves. Expect things to be funny, dramatic and sometimes down right absurd, cause the characters involved have all the attributes to turn this thing on its head. So hopefully, by the end of the month, we will have Hyderabad’s top mallu restaurant.( The metrics of comparison are not quite sure for me at the moment.) But when you and your best mates decide to give it a go. At least all of us will have some fun with it.
The previous post, I asked for help. I needed a plan of action. Something to plan things around. I am starting from scratch on this one. I have literally no data on anything but the Swiggy apps analysis of our sales and the ledger we keep at our desk. From my 3 days here, It is clear we are bleeding money and more importantly time. The losses which are going unnoticed is a real worry. The problem is, there is no metric to tell us that we are making loss. Just that feeling that we could have stocked better, we could have procured earlier and that general sense of lack of direction.
WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT.
That morning. I saw a barrage of messages on my phone. (No it’s not the telegram mallu porn group. )
It was from a person who can potentially add a lot of value to your life. Before I introduce him, go through what he said. That will give you an idea of what he brings to the table.
0.95 * 1.05 = 0.9975
I think that is the most profound mathematical equation I have ever seen in my life.
What Anagh said was that even of I was making 5% profit and 5 % loss. I am not a 0% change. It is still <1. So reducing losses will be more effective than increasing profits and that I should never call it break even even if my loss and profit percentages are the same. I didn’t know that. And that is the sort of quality thoughts he carries.
Anagh is my mate from IITM. We are both loud and proud hostellers of Alaknanda and I went to his home in December to watch Gokulam Kerala. That is when I got a lot of pointers on how to improve the blog. I have been able to apply just 20% of all the gyan he gave me that day. If you have noticed any improvements in this blog. A part of the credit goes to him.
He is the only guy I know in IITM who has the potential to start a proper company. He has the vision, the charisma and the brains to make something great. But he’s a lazy fuck :p. But I am sure that is just a momentary thing and when you make it. ( Nammalenum Marakaruthe Soma :p)
With Somanomics on my phone and a bag of beef and chicken hanging on the side of the bike. Nobie and I make our way back from the butcher. Remember the list I had made yesterday about things to do. Going for a run was the only thing which materialised. The more I start exploring how to get things organised. The more I realise that I have so much to learn and so much to do. I have to start from the basics. Like the literal basics. I am way out of my depth right now. It was like a self reflection of the values I can offer on a traditional job market. I realise I have very little to offer other than write and document things. It was a damning feeling. But something which I realised was needed. Reality can’t be found in the four walls of my class room. Or the air-conditioned bed room at home. Or working for an MNC in the evenings in a blue Gillet.
Reality is knowing that you can remain an insignificant spec in the world. Going where the wind takes you or, do something about it. I wash plates, mop floors, go to the market, shower in cold water, sleep on the ground without a fan over me. Honestly I don’t really mind. This one month is an exercise on realising how privileged I am. How learning to live the life of a working class immigrant and realising the plight of the people who struggle to earn their bread, keep their business afloat, keep their families together and at the end of the day, still have a wide smile on their faces.
These are the real heroes man. Not those cunts on Instagram living a “#lifeworthliving”. I have been fortunate, really fortunate. I mean obscenely fortunate. Stories of people here and why they do what they do makes me realise that.
Jeevan is tired, he doesn’t have the same laugh anymore that we did. He has a lot on his mind right now. His family is not in the most stable situation financially. And he has a lot riding on him. Imagine the weight he is carrying on his head at my same age. All I care about at the same time is, if United will sign Bruno Fernandes. Perspectives.
I am sad that Jeevan has to go through this. I am sure no 22 year old lad wants to carry the weight of repaying loans on his head. But he has always reminded positive thought out all this. I am proud of him for that. He is tired, he wants to go home, to his comfort zone. But I also want him to struggle, I want to see him grow, I want to see him take responsibility and realise that he can change peoples lives for the better. He is the reason I am here and I hope he doesn’t feel like taking responsibility over that too. I want him to realise that, it will take a bit of time. But things will get better. Me and Noble are there for him. I try to remind him of his responsibilities and give him some pointers. But I can totally understand if he feels like it’s just noise with all the things he has to deal with it at the moment.
Honestly. If I was in his place. I wouldn’t handle this situation as well as Jeevan is handling it right now. That I know for sure.
The afternoon we set aside for the inventory. We are on break from 3 to 6. Nobie came back from Narsinghi and went for a nap. Me and Jeevan got to work listing every vessel, spoon, stove. I mean literally every fucking thing which has a name on it. We took 100 pictures and coded it to its excel file. We are trying to create a proper list of all items there are in the kitchen so that when we go shopping for utensils. We know where we are fat and were we are lean. As of now, it’s just Chandrettan;s word ( Which is highly reliable). We need to know more to make better decisions and have more of a say I what goes in the kitchen.
We spend all afternoon doing that and it was not easy.
It was business as usual until that evening. While India was winning against Tajikistan in the first half, one of the owners of the establishment came. It was the first time I am seeing him. I am too lazy to write what happened then, but he gave a detailed list of what he wanted to be done next week. By the time he left. India had lost 4-2. I can confidently say that is the way the interaction went, between him and us.
Telgu beer and other bitter pills
Myre. How bitter is this Tuborg man, This tastes like Kingfisher.
I don’t know why. Beer just tastes so bitter here. Kingfisher tastes like KARIOIL. It’s crazy. We were speeding in Odiyan down the highway. ( Noble wasn’t drinking.) But he did what a drunk dude would do and went in hard onto a gutter. Probably the biggest in the city. And as expected Odiyan gave an Odi and we had to change his front tyre. Then on it was a road trip through night time Hyderabad. Hyderabad has to be one of the most planned cities on the country. The roads, the bridges, the metro. All show this sophistication rarely seen anywhere else. Our destination was this place we found on google. A hill top view point. The destination was irrelevant. WE just wanted to have a little boys time out from the restaurant. After fucking up the route multiple times. We reach a dargha on top of a hill. It was a bit desolate, with a gang of homies have a smoke and nothing else in sight. We move up the stairs and go to the top. The view from there was box office value. The entire city with its night light envelop. From this dark mystic Sufi dargah on top it looks amazing. The pictures will talk for itself.
I would highly recommend anyone in Hyderabad. To go there at 2 am in the morning and close your eyes and listen to the wind. Trust me when I say this, you can hear the hymn of the city. Like the soul of Hyderabad is talking to you. You have to be very calm, very focused and maybe slightly drunk. But it’s music man. On top of Maula Ali hill. It is epic.
It’s time to go back home and sleep things off. Noble had a beer and went to bed.
Day off – wasted
Morning off wasted. It was time to hit the market and my stomach gave a scare. I rested that morning while Jeevan, Nobie and Chandrettan was hitting the market. I will go next week and get a real feel for the local products. I slept till noon and after. I was so drained. I haven’t worked like this in a long time. Then in the afternoon, when they came, I was setting up our sales forecast for the next week .Something which we call in decathlon as piloting. I have very basic skills in excel and I need to get more proficient at it.
Il leave a read only link. See if you guys can suggest anything which will make things easier.
After that, it was the market again. We make the same mistakes all the time.
- Leave when the traffic is at the highest.
- Withdraw money from the most crowded atm in the market
- Leave without a proper plan or a list
- Waste time thinking once we get there and not before.
So, I think we need to schedule our procurement runs in advanced, with a proper list and move things on easier. And I have identified an SBI atm which is in the middle of nowhere with very little crowd. Also enroute. That should at least streamline things better.
We ordered a new double burner, a few stools and plates. Apparently the twiggy photographer will be coming and we need to prepare for that. I wish that information was made available earlier.
Anyways, with that run done and things settled. We called it a night.
With the forecasting date created. We started noticing trends in our order. We do 20 % more direct orders when India is playing cricket game. We used that data to increase our procurement for the next match day. Lets see how that pans out. We are slowly getting organised and dividing the food between the two kitchens is something which we are going to test out. Based on the performance of dishes and not on guesstiamations we have been working on so far. Soon enough, I think with proper piloting and data keeping. Our losses should start decreasing.
All in all. Inshallah
I thought it would be a good idea to create a problem solving group for this where I can crowd source ideas and get some insights from anyone who is interested in how a restaurant works. We can trade a lot of information from the business end and you can help us out with your suggestions and ideas on the finer details. I am attaching this Whatsapp group link. If you are interested. Do come and be part of this 30 day tryst with destiny.
Whats App group link – https://chat.whatsapp.com/GME8ruaTrIK1HLtznnqUb2
And if you live in Hyder. Try our specialities on the link – https://www.swiggy.com/restaurants/bamboo-foodz-marwa-township-narsingi-and-kokapet-hyderabad-89740