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.
Noble wakes me up. Its 8 30. Fuck. We are late.
By now, we have gotten so used to Odis ( Things not going our way/ unnecessary delays) that it is the new status quo. So we started the morning with the Odi that the flush doesn’t work. Then Jeevan took the car keys and the mother fucker in the ATM can’t read English Hindi or Telugu and wasted a solid 10 minutes of ours, until we finally found the some solace in the fact that the traffic didn’t fuck us whole since we were a little late.
But today was going to be different. This week we are getting a system in place. We are going to start doing things based on numbers. I made projections the previous night on how our procurements can be predicted based on last weeks sales. The numbers are very unreliable with just the Swiggy app to look at. Also, I just had the previous weeks data. So I had no means of comparison also. Only thing which I noticed from that data was that our sales increase 20% when India is batting second.
With the projections and a little bit of input from Chandrettan. We went to procure the meat. If the meat seller knows you are a legit business who does consistent business. They start making offers to you. The chicken kid ( Fucker think he owns Blackburn Rovers by the disdain he has towards non Hindi speaking dudes) made an offer that he is willing to deliver to our place if we make orders beforehand. The beef seller could also make similar arrangements. But noble felt that, at this stage, we need to see how credible they are and get an idea for the quality of the bird and the beef they provide. They can fuck us up by throwing off waste pieces in to increase the weight. If we are consistent, they will be incentivised not to do that. Plus the chicken pieces were cut too small for the dry fry. When chicken loses its moisture, it will shrink hard. 1 Kg which is enough for 5 servings when in curry form becomes 4 when in fry. So the pieces had to be cut bigger we learned.
The projections made it easier to estimate what our spendings will be and plan ahead how much money to carry. ( Sans the ATM preparedness). Now ( at least for me) I can notice if anything in the rate is off and how the wholesale rate and the retail rates are different. With more experience and more data, we will be able to give better projections to our meat suppliers and get a better estimate of what to buy and make further offers and concessions between us. An important point from Somanonics.
We came back and we are setting up things and slowly the orders start coming in. Around this time, two Mallu dudes walk in and I greet and ask for the order. Turns out it was one of the partners who own the establishment. Jerin Chettan from Edappaly.
He came to have a look at how the business is running and he brought his entourage to come, chill and inspect. Their timing was perfect as the swiggy photographer came in that day. We were doing a lot of orders and we needed a few extra pair of hands. Our orders will improve dramatically once we attach some photos to what we are selling. As much as 35% to 40 % according to the swiggy partner guide. Now, the photographer was on song. Taking photos, Noble was using his magic to decorate a beef fry with crowns of onions and make it look fly. Then came the important bits. Our best sellers. A quartet of all things Kerala and all things which sells a lot.
The photographer guy confused the Kerala Porotta for an omelet. :p
We quickly realised that our ( my) projections were way off. At the end of the day, I did a check and my accuracy rate was just around 50%. But learned so much form it. The owner was having a look around to see how things were going.
We closed the kitchen at 3 and laid down in “the shed’. ( Not Uba butlers scam on how a fake restaurant topped trip advisor’s list for Londons top restaurant)
Honestly, I thought that would be my job profile when I got here. Now, I do everything. Literally everything except cook. Chandrettan needs a “Gurudekshina” from me to initiate my education in the kitchen. 2 “Vettila”. 1 “Addaka” and 1 bottle of Mansion house premium brandy. When the mansion house flows, I will start beating some dough.
There is this movie I have been putting off watching in Chennai cause I will really start missing kochi and maybe cry a bit. But now I have 2 other Kochikarans also missing kochi and crying a bit on the inside. So we thought It would be a good idea to watch “ Kumbalangi Nights” and chill for bit. I think it is the first time that we are resting an afternoon in forever. That was nice. Noble was making fun of how I can’t catch the Kochi references. ( Onnu poo bhai, than veruthe role kalikan varale da kavadi ) AKA Fuck you Nobie :p
That evening, after Jeevan took away some food to Narsinghi. Noble and I got to business. That inventory was not going to do by itself. We counted and weighed all the veggies. This was in the middle of orders. We got clear idea of all the things we have with us. Now, over the next few weeks, we will calculate our consumption rate and get more insights onto the business from there. By 8 our beef and biriyani was done. Which made us lose some business. I calculated for the next day based on that demand. The weekdays are really confusing. Finding the trend is going to be really tough affair. But I find it fun somehow to try to predict things which have real life outcomes and consequences. Like “dream team”, but we are betting 5 k per day on things.
That night end, I created a log of the sales of all our products. Swiggy as well as direct sales. Something which was long overdue. Soon enough, the data will tell stories by itself and help us make some much needed informed decisions.
Well that is pretty much it for now.
If I can get the inventory completed tomorrow. Thats a victory.
Plus the owner Chettan has a few plans of his own and he can help us out too in much needed ways. Overall, it’s been a good day.
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