Saturday, January 28, 2017

Thattukada, the innovative roadside fastfood eatery, at Calicut - a case study

This evening in Calicut, Kerala, India  when I came out of my hotel for a very light dinner of fruits, never did I ever think that it would be such a sumptuous and tasty dinner of hot dosas (or steaming fermented rice flour cake cooked, heated on pan, 3 nos.), sambhar, chutney and a single omelette, all for just Rs. 30/-. (45 cents) at this thattukada, the healthy, hot serving, low cost fast food setup, reliving experience of my younger college days in KDpuram, TVM. 

I was very keen on reliving that experience !
Prepared with modern gadgets like LPG gas stove, automobile battery powered LED lights (2 nos) for lighting, hygienic neat plates lined inside with butter paper, neat washing place with piped water and hot water to gulp the food down, the setup near Vasan eye care hospital near Thali temple Calicut was a good quality service setup. It was run by a front office manager, waiter, cashier, cleaner and public relations expert (all-in-one) of 30 years and his back office manager, chief (and only) cook, tasting expert, employee and friend of 30 years (2 employees in total)..

 The cooking setup which was on a trailer-mode four tyred steel bodied structure  had an open top, which was the mobile and open kitchen. All vessels were properly covered. The customers who on being convinced of the quality and hygiene of the service setup, placed the order to the manager-cum-waiter. The menu card was not available nor on display. 

The customers were served standing, had to finish the eating standing, pay up and could socialise with the 2 employees and be around for not more than 5 minutes. At the time I was being served, two other customers were also in service with very low waiting time. There was no queueing at this fast food setup.

The dosa batter, chutney and sambhar was prepared at the residence by these employees during daytime. The eatery or thattukada is open from 8-12 mignight daily at the same place. Since the setup was mobile, infrastructure expenses and rent were nil, keeping expenses at rock-bottom low levels. This helped to serve customers at very low costs and highly hygienic levels. 

The entire mobile  setup is packed and towed away manually to a nearby compound for the rest of the day till 8 pm. Some of these enterprising people also work as vegetable and fruit vendors during day time.

A good example of low cost innovation and value for money with high customer satisfaction ..


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