Wok-style food has become a global phenomenon as the idea of serving fresh, healthy and customised Chinese/Oriental cuisine option to customers. This option had started globally but was not present in Pune when Riya Shah and her husband Amit Shah left their jobs to start this concept in the city. Excerpts:
Building a Dream Empire
My husband always had a dream of having our own food brand. He has his own real estate business so he could never focus on it. After my first maternity break when I planned to start work again, I thought of chasing my husband's dream of our own food brand. And that's how The Quick Wok was conceptualied. We started with an initial capital of around Rs10-12 lacs.
Targeting people on-the-go
When we started, we didn't target any specific segment. But over time have realised that our consumers are a young, educated audience, both students and working professionals, as well as travelled senior age group people.
Serving a Wide variety
We have regular and mini boxes. The regular starts at Rs200 for Veg and Rs230 for Non veg, while the mini ones start at Rs130 for Veg and Rs160 for Non veg. Apart from quantity, the major difference being that in regular box you can choose more than 12 different Indian and exotic veggies and 4 different garnishes while in a mini box you get to choose from only 5 Indian veggies and 1 garnish.
Why there is a sudden demand in takeout?
I feel the sudden demand in take-out is mainly due to everyone's fast lifestyle today, whether a student or working professional. And, all online delivery platforms have played the role of a catalyst in this. With easy access to smart phones and fast internet connection, everything is at the tip of your finger.
The Rising Love for Asian Flavours
After Indian food, the major demand in India is of Asian food. Since the mid 90's, Asian food has become one of the favourite alternate cuisine for Indians. We just made sure that it was healthy by not using any MSG/Ajino Moto. The ingredients are available everywhere; it's just that you have to choose the right ones. We started with making our own sauces instead of procuring standard canned sauces available in the market. This made sure we knew what was going into the food we are serving. We now have a base kitchen where total of more than 1 ton of various sauces are made every month. We order fresh veggies from the market yard every day. When received, our chef makes sure that the quality of the veggies is up to the mark.
Trend Hitting the Sector
Discounts by online delivery platforms are the biggest trend hitting the industry as of now. Customers are getting so used to discounts that a segment of them won't order if there are no discounts. This has also hit the dine-in business across restaurants.
Expanding the Biz
We have a decent expansion plan over the next few months. We plan to start two more company-owned outlets this year. We are also entering into franchising across Maharashtra soon. This will give us a good spread and visibility.