When three is not a crowd: Sweta, Amritha and Daizy of WhereElse Cafe
Everyone loves a good bite of food, don’t they? This delectable business is immensely competitive. More so in a market like Pune, where a joint springs up every week, running a fully functional restaurant is tough. But not for these three women, who came together for the love of good food and the will to serve. Sweta, Amritha and Daizy are opposites- but are one great force in the Pune food industry.
Three girls come together to own and operate a restaurant
“We’ve known each other for a while now. Amritha and I(Sweta) have known each other for 12 yrs and always spoke about doing something of our own. Ardesh and Daizy (Ardesh is our main man and Daizy’s brother) pitched in the idea of starting an all day breakfast cafe in Viman Nagar in Pune. Needless to say, our love for food played a role in bringing us together too. “
The origin of the cafe
“Well yes, It’s something each one of us contemplated at some point in the past, but the time or place never seemed right. A couple of years later, after endless discussions and thorough market research, we decided to take the plunge. And everything fell into place as you can see now.”
Building a culture is key. A culture that’s unique to your place and your place only, that makes employees work harder and feel for the place
The competitive restaurant industry
“We believe you can stand out by following the basic rules:
Consistency in taste, quality and portions. Customers get upset when they come back for their favorite dish and it doesn’t match up to their expectations of when they ate it the first time!
Aim to not just meet customer expectations but exceed expectations.
Identify your USPs and build on that. Bringing a little bit of our individual personalities into the brand keeps it fun and quirky and we believe that’s how you can stand out.
Yes the industry is getting increasingly crowded and more competitive but stick to these basics and you will surely stand out.”
A little insight into the big bad restaurant business.
“Product: Food, Ambiance & Service – what the market wants. This is not a one time thing, its an ongoing process, especially for the first few months, that’s when you set your standards, work on maintaining it , which involves thorough & constant quality checks.
Managing Staff : investing your time and energy in initial training is obviously essential. Building a perfect team isn’t easy. In the restaurant industry employees hop very easily for an extra buck. So building a culture is key. A culture that’s unique to your place and your place only, that makes employees work harder and feel for the place.
Marketing: Once you get your product right its all about marketing it right ! Important to explore all kinds on mediums. We focus a huge deal on social media marketing as well as offline marketing. A lot of events and stall set-ups that we do increase brand awareness. All this helps expand our customer base. Because when you get your product right, customers will keep coming back. That along with constantly reaching out to new customers ensures up hill demand.
Lastly, its about cost control. At the end of the day its a business we’re running, so the focus needs to be maximizing revenue while minimizing costs. Keeping the food cost low is challenging, especially without compromising on quality & quantity. Thousand things that could go wrong, there could be wastage, possibility of pilferage, poor stock management. Keeping all this in check is challenging.”
Find something you’re passionate about and decide what your goal is. Take the first step towards that goal and the rest will follow
Is three a crowd when it comes to functioning?
“We all bring in our respective expertise to the table, which makes functioning a whole a lot easier. Daizy, being a finance major takes care of Accounting & Finance. Being a good cook that she is, you’ll find her spending a lot of time in the kitchen supervising the production staff. Amritha carries a strong experience in Human Resource Management, she manages the HR at Where Else, alongside building relationships with Corporates. I (Sweta) look after Public Relations and Social Media for the cafe. Not to forget, Ardesh Rustomjee oversees Supply Management & Stock Control, apart from tasting and approving all our recipes of course.
However by the end of it we do oversee each of our tasks and end up being involved in everything.”
The big work mantra is…
We strongly believe in what we do. And that’s all you need to keep you going!
Some start-up advice
Find something you’re passionate about and decide what your goal is. Take the first step towards that goal and the rest will follow! It’s about jumping in head first!