How has Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba transformed from a ‘truck driver eating joint’ to a Dhaba for all?
It was way back in 90s when we both brothers, Sukhdev Singh and I took over the charge of the Dhaba and invested in it to make it a place for travellers. Started with simple Indian traditional fare of dal roti, sabzi, and chawal served on charpais, the eatery has now added North Indian and South Indian dishes to satisfy a growing customer base.
We gave it a modern look by shifting it to a new building in 2000. After that we started getting the high-end customers who were on their way to Punjab and Himachal. And today, we have approximately 8,000-10,000 customers visiting us daily and the number goes up to 12,000-13,000 during weekends.
What is your current revenue and what is the number that you are targeting in the next few years?
Ever since we started, we have been growing by 3-4 per cent monthly. We have never looked back since its inception. At present, we have a revenue of Rs 3-4 crore monthly.
What does the menu comprise currently? What is the price range?
We have North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Continental in the fare of street foods in our menu. And we have kept the middle class customers in mind while designing it. We have introduced Paratha in our menu with lots of butter at only Rs 50 with complementary salad, pickles and raita.
Who do you see as your competitor in the market?
We have always believed in our own work- giving the best to the customer. We believe in growing by serving quality best food, with hygiene and authenticity. However, we keep on tasting foods at brands like Haldiram and Bikanervala to see what changes they are introducing in their menu.
What is the seating capacity at your restaurant? Who are your regular customers?
We have a seating capacity of approximately 500-600 customers. NRIs, travellers on highways and locals from Delhi-NCR and Punjab are regular visitors for lunch and dinner at our place.
How have you maintained the authenticity of your food since 1956 till today?
We never compromise on quality of food. Sukhdev and I sit here in the dhaba to look after every single operation of the place. We check the food prepared by ourselves; we never rely on chefs or cooks. Even my son, Suraj Singh, who is an M Sc. from Aston University, UK, has joined us and is assisting us in taking the business forward.
As you are known for serving food in Murthal, what is your expansion plan to take this business forward?
We have started the discussion internally among ourselves. We are looking after factors such as location, pricing, menu and the target group and once we will get all these, we may enter other markets.
What is the number of staff at your Dhaba?
Today, we have approximately 300 workers which was only a few members way back in 1956.