Right opposite Khalsa College for Women in bustling Ghumar Mandi of the city, three youths in their 20s can be seen unloading huge containers from their vehicle every evening.
On the side is a hygienic cart, ‘Talk of The City’, along with a barbeque. The venture has started making a buzz in the city within a short time with its mouth-watering barbeque tikkas, kebabs and tandoori dishes, priced at nominal rates.
Surprisingly, the barbeque on wheels is the venture of 25-year-old Varun Sharma, holding a professional diploma in hotel management from Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India, Noida.
Having worked as commis chef (it is a junior or apprentice chef position) in high-end hotels such as Radisson Blu and Park Plaza, it was his ‘’wish to begin from scratch” and start his own venture that has brought him on the road, literally.
“Had I planned to start a restaurant or eating joint, investment would have been in lakhs. I first wanted to assess the market response, and this cart was the best option,” says Varun, who is also joined by his 20-year-old brother Piyush who is an engineering student and works part-time to earn salary at his brother’s cart.
Serving fresh and hygienic food priced from Rs 100-170, the menu is also changed every two weeks and it includes a variety of barbeque dishes like cheese tikka, murg malai tikka, banjaara chicken, mushroom tikka and various others – all cooked on barbeque. The venture also provides home delivery.
However, the journey from hotels to roads was not easy as resistance came from family. “Who wants to see a diploma-holder son on roads with a cart and that too when I worked in high-end hotels? But I made them understand that I want my own venture and investment in lakhs is not my cup of tea. We make sure that hygienic food is served to clients,” says Varun, son of Krishan Lal Sharma, a government employee from Civil Lines.
“It is not easy to get jobs in hotel industry and pays are too low. In the beginning it is not more than Rs 8,000 a month with a 16-hour shift. A cart is giving more than this. I have employed a chef as well for help,” says Varun, who is planning similar ventures at other points in the city in future.