'The Chhaunk' aims over 50 new outlets delivering Bihari homemade food in 2-3 years

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The Chhaunk
The Chhaunk

New Delhi : The love of a mother is indeed delightful and when it comes to showering love nothing can beat our darling mothers. One of the best ways in which they express their love for us is through food. We bring you the food of a mother exclusively from the Chowks of Bihar.

Can you recall the Bihari foods that might have excited your taste buds? Many people won’t be able to name more than one of them. But here, this saas-bahu duo has come with a diverse variety of unexplored Bihari foods that deserve more appreciation. In an exclusive conversation with News Heads, Manjari Singh, founder- The Chhaunk, Gurgaon based Cloud kitchen startup talks about her Bihari-food venture and her prolific journey.

1.     Covid-19 had a huge impact on the restaurant and cloud kitchen industry. Amidst this what inspired you to start your venture in the cloud kitchen industry?

Answer- There is no doubt in saying that the restaurant and cloud kitchen industry has suffered a lot in Covid-19. But as it is said, “In crisis lies opportunity.” Setting up this business was not a planned thing for us at this time, but during the lockdown, my mother is law Mrs. Hiranyamayi Shivani couldn't go to her home and got stuck. Similarly, many immigrants couldn’t go to their home town for months and they must have missed their hometown meal. Since she loved cooking, this idea came up to why not we should provide food to people based out of their home town and give them a home-like experience, and finally, we helped each other, and this idea is beautifully implemented. Bihari food is usually not available in every restaurant. We have so many people of Bihar all over the country who barely get to eat their staple food. This is another reason for bringing out this venture. We also target food enthusiast consumers (non-Bihari) who are ready to explore new cuisine.  We, all as Indians have grown up listening to stories either around food or for food. Good Food is something that binds us to create memories and bond with our fellows for years now. With this thought of bringing street stories around food along with the traditional taste of Bihar so that our stories reach to yours fulfilling palates of your friends and family and those stories become yours. With each food here, we have a story behind it.

2.     Keeping the Covid Protocols in mind. What sort of packaging will be used by The Chhaunk? How is it different from that of the competitors?

Answer- Safety is the major concern for each and everyone nowadays. As a venture, we have kept all the covid-19 protocols in mind while delivering or food. There is absolutely no decoration on the food preparation to commercialize it, but it is kept exactly the same as you get if you visit any Bihar home. We have tied up with brand ‘Favola’ for food packing material. We are totally committed to being a 100% Green company and are not using any items in the restaurant which will do any harm to the ecosystem. The packaging is completely free from plastic and is entirely biodegradable. Adding further, we are using glass packaging in order to deliver lead-free, safe freeze, leak-proof food. The containers are also air-tight for the absolute convenience of the customer.

3.     What are the Kitchen Sterilization Measures that you are using?

As mentioned above, all packing materials are double sterilized once at packing brand ‘Favola’ and another round every time before we pack the food. All the packing materials are glass and so it is sanitized well. Even the cooking groceries are properly sterilized and double washed. Apart from this, we make sure that our staff and delivery partners are following all COVID protocols and we deliver the best food with keeping our consumers tension free from ordering from outside and stay be safe.

4. Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult customer, co-worker, or person. How did you deal with that situation?

As mentioned Bihar cuisine is not widely spread in an organised manner and this is a most difficult situation to be in as consumer’s are still not very much exposed to the authentic style of food preparation and sometimes they find it different from their expectations.

Another challenge is keeping a food style like home-cooked and not making it commercially fancy like regular restaurant style. We are trying hard to maintain this USP.

5. Why only Bihari-Food? How will you expand the demand for the same?

Answer- Bihar cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines. From the chowks of Bihari, we have exclusively brought you this venture which has Bihari food. Since we have observed the unavailability of Bihari food in most of the restaurants, that’s why we bring you the tastiest Bihari food which includes  Litti Chokha, Bhat, Dal, Roti, Tarkari, and a lot more. It is one of the most loved foods by Indians. Bihari’s are spread all over India and they definitely miss their mother’s home-cooked food. We bring them not only the food but an experience that takes them back. We present you with one of the most diverse cuisines in the world which was always underestimated because of no focused approach by any brand which it always deserved. The demand for any food item grows by its taste. We as a venture are offering the tastiest Bihari Food which will definitely be loved by all.

6.      The festival season is around the corner, How will you use this season as a great opportunity for The Chhaunk?

Answer- We live in a country that is renowned for being a melting pot of rich, diverse cultures that celebrate a range of festivities throughout the year. In India, festivals are natural engagement boosters for all. The Chhaunk has decided to launch few campaigns around this season. We are delivering the food items to your doorstep. People can definitely take a break from their busy life and treat themselves and their loves one’s with our food. The working women do not have to cook in this season. They just have to place the order with us and the food will be delivered. To scale our business with hyperlocal delivery, we have Dunzo. It definitely offers the best delivery services and the order successfully reaches the customer in the shortest amount of time. As we already know, the employees have adopted the new normal. It is the perfect time to connect with your employees through festive gifting. And nothing is better than gifting food that has the most unique Bihari food taste.

7.     What is your 100% authentic traditional way of preparing food? How will you use this to expand your business in the near future?

Answer- There is absolutely no fusion, a 100% authentic traditional way of preparation is used. Currently, we are operating from Gurgaon and in the next 1 year, the company plans to open outlets in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Bangalore & Jaipur. We aim to open at least 50+ outlets in the next 2-3 years with an aim to deliver Bihari Homemade food.

8.     How are the chefs learning about the recipes from the mother's kitchen?

Answer- We are very much inspired by the homemade spices which almost all Bihar home kitchens prepare and use. We strictly follow the same and 100% spices we prepare in-house. We have specialized chefs for regional cuisines who will follow the exact recipes given by the mother. They are keen to learn about the spices and recipes given by the mother and are following them in the most appropriate manner.

9.  How is the saas-bahu duo helping each other to grow this venture?

Answer- It’s all about having a great partnership when it comes to running a business. We as a saas-bahu duo are extremely helpful to each other. They have always believed in themselves and conviction towards their cooking. They have been able to combat all the challenges that came their way.