Little India Restaurant Story

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mr. Bharat was an enterprising young man who decided to one day open a multi-cuisine restaurant called "Little India" in his home town. The restaurant opened to a rapturous welcome from the local people. He hired staff to care of the guests coming in. 10 waiters to take care of the 30 tables, a team of three chefs, a manager and two security guards. Business started to grow and there was a steady stream of guests daily to the restaurant. Within a short span of time, the restaurant became famous in the whole city.

Buoyed by the success of his restaurant, Mr. Bharat expanded his restaurant. He hired additional staff to manage the affairs. Two more floors were added to the single floor restaurant and different set of staff appointed to manage each floor. Business grew manifold but the profits didn’t soar. Mr. Bharat being an enterprising man soon figured out that something was going wrong. He called his chief manager to explain what was going wrong with the business. The chief manager feigned ignorance of any wrong doing in the restaurant and attributed the decreased profit increase to lack of sufficient infrastructure. “Sir, the chairs are old, the utensils limited and the salaries of the employees are less than other upscale market restaurants”, said Jag Mohan Singh, the chief manager at the restaurant. Bharat ordered additional budget to take care of the shortcomings. Jag Mohan being a busy man, delegated the task of getting the facelift to his subordinates and decided to keep a tab on them while the work was underway.

A few months later the facelift was complete but the profits still didn’t soar. Jag Mohan was again called by Bharat to explain.

“Jag Mohan ji, I have been out of the town for some time now and couldn’t check the work personally. I understand that the facelift work got over sometime back but I still don’t see any surge in the profits. Has there been any wrong doing going on?”

“No sir, I personally supervise the things. Nothing is beyond our control. You will soon see the surge. Believe me. I had been a topper during my hotel management course and managing restaurants is a cake walk for me. This one’s no different,” replied an assuring Jag Mohan.

“One of the patrons of the restaurant came to me saying that nothing much has changed post the temporary closure we have had after the renovation,” rebutted a tensed Bharat.
“I think it’s a perception. There is no truth to it,” replied a confident Jag Mohan.

“I take your words!” said Bharat.

The slide continued despite all the assurances. More money was pumped but to no avail. It was then that Bharat decided to take a stock of things. He got the inventory made for the articles bought for the renovation work and checked the accounts. He was surprised to find that the chairs bought for the restaurant were bought at 5 times the price at which they were available in the nearby market, the three floors of his restaurant acted independently and there was growing discontent amongst the patrons of the restaurant. Bharat summoned Jag Mohan again.

“Jag Mohan ji, what are you paid for? The furniture bought is at an exorbitant rate, there is a lot of infighting amongst the waiters working on different floors of the restaurant and you never got a whiff of it?”

“Sir, don’t you worry, we have thrown out the guilty. As soon as you sent me the details of the market price of the furniture among other things, I acted swiftly and fired the erring employees. All is well now.”

“But what about recovering the costs? Shouldn’t we sign a contract with all employees, including waiters, managers, security staff and chefs making them liable for the loss they cause to the restaurant? I have even heard that the dishes are ill-prepared. Everyone should be accountable now that I have made you all stake holders in the restaurant’s profits.”

“A very fine suggestion indeed Sir. I am not averse to getting the contract signed by all waiters. Let us keep the managers out of it. They are responsible people and need not be bullied like this,” suggested Jag Mohan.

“No, but if the talk is about accountability, everyone is a party to it. The employees who have been fired were not waiters, they were managers! I also plan to have the guests’ feedback act as an input while fixing the accountability to improve our service. They are the masters after all,” added Bharat.

“There will be severe complications. Guests will make frivolous charges if the food is not as per their liking, will blackmail all of us and act as if they own the restaurant,” replied a sweating Jag Mohan.

“But this is how it works. They are in fact the masters. We serve them to survive. Why would it be any different now?” asked Bharat.

Knowing that Bharat was too busy to come to the restaurant, Jag Mohan threw a bait. He requested Bharat to come to the restaurant himself and decide take a stock of things. It was more of a delaying tactic by him rather than any solid move to check the slide of the once famous restaurant of the city.

“Fine, I will be there!” replied Bharat. This stunned Jag Mohan.

Bharat thought of a plan. He decided to ask one of his friends to visit the restaurant as a guest and see what was not working before he went himself. The friend obliged and went to the Little India restaurant. He ordered a three course meal that was served stale and cold. Surprised at the service being offered, he summoned Jag Mohan to his table. Jag Mohan refused to heed to his request and sent a message instead – “Sir, with due respect, the servicing of food among other things is not my task. It is a delegated task and will be handled by my subordinates appropriately."

The guest was surprised at this behavior. He called the junior manager and asked why the food was served cold and tasted stale? The manager replied curtly – “Sir, understand that we have been hired for the upkeep of the restaurant and hence allow us to decide how to serve it. You can of course write your complaint in the guest book if you didn’t like it. But how we service it is our prerogative.”

“But doesn’t the guest have a say in all this? I pay for the damn food!”

“You were not forced to come here and now that you are here, you need to go by our rules. Today you teach us to serve the food, tomorrow you will try to teach us to cook it too! This is a bad precedent. To cut the story short  - buddy, here it’s our way or the highway”, the junior manager was sterner this time and there was a finality in his tone.

“I will not pay for this kind of service,” replied the peeved guest.

“Well, then be prepared to be served by our security men,” replied the junior manager as he ordered the security men to throw the guest out. The guards came and shoved the guest out of the restaurant. Over the next couple of weeks, the news about the attitude of the hotel staff at Little India spread like wild fire in the whole market. The once popular restaurant was forced to shut down.


Custom Search

Lorem Ipsum

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP