You often stop by a restaurant or food joint that is doing something extraordinary or is going out of the box to cater to their loyal customer. Fozzie's Pizzaiolo, the Ahmedabad Italian restaurant chain started by Parth Fozdar when he was just 24 will blow out your mind. You would be happy and safe to order from this pizza chain which is city’s one of the best as per customer review.
The restaurateur-cum-chef who has turned himself to a delivery boy just to satisfy his customer’s craving and to pay his staff during the pandemic which has hit the restaurant business to the core. “It was the 5th day of the restaurant closure when the lockdown was announced. We made it very clear that we are going to have our 4 pillars- my two chefs and two managers and got them together and told them that I am not going to have any dishwashers, helpers and it is just going to be four of us where one person could manage the internal areas, order and everything. You need to cook, pack and deliver everything. We did this because there is now law that says rent will be exempted, I still want my staff and people to suffice them and take care of them,” shared Fozdar who started this business out of love for food and all things fine. Excerpts from the interview:
How it all began
The inspiration came from my home. All my close family members were into cooking and looking at them I was always very fascinated and that inclined me to cooking and learning new things. After my boards, I realised that cooking is my passion and I want to take it forward. I applied for hotel management from Welcome Group of College in Manipal and did my post graduate in culinary from Switzerland, work there for a year at one of the most exquisite fine dine restaurants in Switzerland and came back started working in Silver Sands Holiday Resort in Goa, handling two restaurants for the property as a head chef at. I always believed in hand crafting each pizza that is served in the joint. I was supposed to go back again to Switzerland but things didn’t worked out and sitting home depressed, not knowing what to do, where to go. Just to start something, Fozzie's Pizzaiolo came up where I wanted to do a takeaway where people call me for the order. That was from my home. That’s how Fozzie’s was started.
When did you move to the casual dining space?
We soon moved to a casual dining place from a 40 seater diner to a 100 setaer diner. We do have Mexican, khowsuey and our own version of Biryani. Pizza is our base but then if someone is coming to our restaurant and want to look for other options, we do want to give them the choice, we want to give them an option where not everyone enjoys the same food but I might enjoy that food. To suffice everyone’s taste buds we started getting new cooks, chefs who would develop recipes. And, that’s when there was a certain point of satisfaction when I come back home.
How are you trying to keep your kitchen/food safe during this time?
We properly sanitize every single day, the bleach water sanitization is also being done, mask and gloves is mandatory for all of us working.
How are you delivering your order safely?
We are both on Swiggy and Zomato. But a lot of people were calling and saying that we do not want to order from aggregators because we do not know where they have been etc keeping the safety point in mind. That’s how we started delivering ourselves. We have divided time and area where people call us and pre book their order. I am the one who deliver food to the customers so I make sure that I do not come in contact with anyone else.
How is the menu design for this period?
We have made a concise menu and sent it to every person on my whatsapp. Everyday, at 7:20 in the evening I leave my restaurant to deliver food. I am doing this because people trust me, the brand and they believe that we are delivering safe foods. Also, we are doing Swiggy and Zomato because there are certain areas that is not in our reach and there are people who do not mind ordering via these aggregators.
What are the numbers of orders you are doing daily?
We are doing around 50 orders on an average. The ticket size is around Rs 600-700 rupees. Apart from this, we also do some social work where we go out every day and supply foods to the poor and needy.
What are your plans opening restaurants now that we are already allowed to open from 8th June?
I would want to shut for 4 days and see what the progress is for Covid cases in the area and then open our restaurant. I have realised that the whole market is moved online and that’s going to be the future.