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Now, pay only for what you eat
Maitreyee Handique |
December 24, 2004
ith increased competition in the food business, promoters are focusing on exclusive 'ideas' or 'concepts' for their restaurants.
After Not Just Parathas, the speciality roti joint, and Eggspectation, that celebrates egg recipes, it is time for Saeed Shervani, promoter of Shervani Hospitality Ltd to experiment.
The owner of the Delhi-based Mexican restaurant, Rodeo, hit upon the concept of 'weigh and pay': pay for what you eat, literally, by the gram.
At Delhi's Café Masala, the weighing scale attached to the billing system is all important. For Rs 18, you can help yourself to 100 grams worth of vegetarian food, like Malai Kofta, rice and dal.
For the non-vegetarians, the choices are Chinese and Continental helpings for Rs 28 per 100 grams. Pay an extra Rs 3 for every chapatti. Located in Connaught Place, the outlet will open on January 1.
Shervani is confident that 'weigh and pay' will work as it does away with the menu card and, unlike in a buffet, the prices vary according to one's appetite.
"Normally, people eat 300-350 grams for a single meal and about 450 grams, if they are very hungry. At Cafe Masala, the idea is to eat a little bit of everything, and we don't object to sharing," says Shervani.
The concept struck Shervani when the state weight and measures department demanded that all restaurants weigh their food on the plate before selling it to consumers.
As vice-president of the National Restaurant Association, he protested and got a court stay on the order. "Then I thought, why not introduce the concept? After all, the idea exists in places like New York," he says.
After Delhi, Café Masala may open in other cities through franchisees.
For starters, it is looking at a volume of 400-700 meals a day at its flagship outlet. To support the expansion plans, the company has invested in a 5,000 meals-a-day industrial kitchen in Udyog Vihar.