“By profession, I am a graphic designer and sign maker. I used to own an advertising merchandise supplier in Anamnagar. There were many offices in this area but finding the affordable and good restaurant was very difficult. People either had to settle down with low-quality foods or spend heavily. An idea struck my mind; to make the quality food within the reach of people regularly.”-Prabin Shrestha, Owner, Cafe First.
Are you looking for a place that serves healthy, hygienic and affordable food? Are you in search of an eatery that welcomes you every day with food for your lunchtime?
Whether it be a juicy filled grilled burger or a savory steamed Mo:Mo, every food costs you no more than Rs.99 at Cafe First.Located near the busy city streets of Anamnagar, the place is becoming famous among the students, office workers and general people.
As there were many offices around the area, Shrestha was confident that the restaurant would make the big volume sales. He had well calculated the costs and margin in every item before he turned one of his offices into a cafe four years back.
He started the venture with seven lakh initial investment. His friends and relatives doubted if the cafe would sustain itself and yield profit by selling everything for Rs.99. But he believed with his estimations and continued. Today, the cafe makes the sales of fifteen to twenty thousand daily.
Among the costumer, the cafe is more popular as 99 cafe more than its original name.
Unique Taste and Quality
From the noon till the evening, five dedicated staffs are found working continuously to serve the visitors. Talking about the quality of the food, Shrestha shares,” We have fixed guidelines to prepare the ingredients for the food that we serve. We make sure that seasonings like ajinomoto and soya sauce are avoided.”
“The Mo:Mo we get here is very delicious. I have been visiting the restaurant regularly and they are consistent with the taste. In many places, all we get is oily food with spices in very expensive price. Here, the price is reasonable and taste is intriguing.” shares Gokul Joshi, one of the costumers.
There were many people who speculated over the quality of food served in the restaurant as they were the one to provide in the minimum possible costs. The owner himself had no prior experience in food industry. Finding the manpower was very challenging. Out of all the odds, the team managed to build its network and attract the costumers.
According to Shrestha, they had the strategy to gain more profit from the veg-items. A plate of Veg Mo:Mo which would cost Rs.50 in other places would also cost Rs.99 in Cafe First. The idea was working well and the cafe was making 20 to 30 percent of profit every month.
However, when the prices of vegetables increased after Dashain. “We would cover the loss from meat items by selling Veg Mo:Mo and Burgers at the same price. But the situation is different now. We have to spend more amounts to buy the vegetables and the profit is decreasing,” shares Shrestha.
When it is about competition in the food business, Shrestha has a different opinion than the general. He thinks that the competition isn’t among the various outlets but remains within the company to improve and deliver better.
The future plan is to expand it to other places around Kathmandu. Places with significant numbers of offices and workplaces are among his target. But above all, he wants to run small outlets in the major trade hubs of the city.
“I have been motivated with the way the small stalls in complexes of Kathmandu are operating. Within five years, we want to grow bigger ensuring that our taste and quality remains unchanged,” Shrestha portrays his future plans.
To the aspiring entrepreneurs
Business is all about taking risks. When you come up with a new idea, make sure you aren’t afraid to implement. You may think that there will be lots of race to win. But all you have overcome is the fear among yourself and start building confidence.
Startups for Better Nepal!
Presented by: Prashant Bhandari