It is said that if you have skill and want to do something, then no one can stop you from creating a different identity. It is not necessary that you make a career in the studies that you have done, but sometimes even your hobby can lead you forward. As happened with Sheetal Garodia living in Bengaluru. Raised in Kolkata, Shital has done fashion designing but today, she is working as a ‘home-chef’ from her home. His food business is named Homestyle Food by Homeshef Sheetal. Through which, she makes different types of dishes available to the people.
Talking to The Better India, he told, “I worked in a fashion house after studying and then got married. In 2009, my husband had to shift to Bangalore for a job and I moved here with him. Here too, I was teaching in a pre-school for a few years. But then, I quit my job when my daughter was born. ”
As his daughter grew up, Sheetal began to feel that he should work again. She says that she cannot sit at home empty-handed. So, she started thinking about what work she could do while still at home. And his food business started here.
Work started with WhatsApp:
She adds, “I also loved to cook and people liked to eat my hand. So, when I was thinking about doing some work, I felt that I could do something related to food. Then there was no facility to deliver such home-made food in the apartment where we live. So, I thought of taking a trial and wrote a post about it in my apartment’s WhatsApp group itself. ”
In 2017, he started his business with a Bengali dish, ‘Radhavallabhi’. Today she is making a variety of dishes and feeding her customers. He said that he has a full-day menu – breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. He maintains two WhatsApp groups, which have around 400 members. She posts her menu every day about what she is cooking that day. Seeing the menu, people place their order. She says that she gets more than 50 orders every day, from morning to night for dinner. This number increases even more on weekends.
Talking about her menu, she says that all her dishes are vegetarian. Also, she also cooks dishes from different states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Mumbai etc. So that people living away from their homes can also get a taste of their own cuisine. One of his clients, Priyanka Mehtani, says, “I am from Mumbai and have lived in Bangalore for a long time. I miss ‘Mumbai’s food’ the most here. But, ever since Shitalji came to know about this problem, this problem has also gone away. She makes all dishes like dahi vada, vada pav and dabeli very tasty. Also, she works very cleanly, so when ordering from her, do not hesitate even once. ”
Priyanka has been consistently ordering dishes for Sheetal for the past one year. He said that he came to know about Sheetal from a food group, where he saw a post of Sheetal. After this, he thought about trying their food once and now she keeps ordering something from him every week.
Sheetal says that they get about four thousand orders a month. The price of their dishes starts at 50 rupees. She says, “While there is a price of 50-60 rupees for snacks, there is a price of 100 to 200 rupees for lunch. I always decide the price of food, thinking that it should not be too much for people. Out of this, I also make a profit and the customers also get their food accordingly. ”
Quality is not compromised:
Sheetal further says that she does all the work from her home. In this, his family helps him fully. Also, he has hired three women. She explains, “My husband helps me in everything.” If I am busy in the kitchen, they take care of the children. For the last one year, he too has been working from home, so now many times he also helps in cooking. ” Sheetal says that his business has grown the most due to the WhatsApp group and his customers.
Those who eat their food once, they also tell their friends about ordering it. In the same way their customers are increasing. Also, she says that what is most important in the food business is quality. If a customer does not get the food right from you, even once, then you will not only lose that customer but also lose many more customers through him. Therefore, Sheetal uses everything carefully. He said, “Initially, we had to wander for goods. As earlier maize flour was not found anywhere, then there were problems. But now the work has increased so much that the shopkeepers themselves deliver all the goods. Because, they too are getting good business now. ”
Sheetal always offers something new to his customers. For example, in winter, she makes corn bread, mustard greens and carrot pudding. At times, she also works according to the customers. They believe that if your customers are satisfied with you then you will also get satisfaction in your mind. Therefore, she always pays attention to customer feedback. She says, “I get 30-40% profit every month and my business has grown by 10% in four years.”
She further states that during the Corona epidemic their orders have increased considerably. Because, now many people want to eat delicious and nutritious food made at home. He has partnered with ‘Dunzo’ company for delivery. She says that it is only for out-of-order. Because most of the orders they get from their apartments are taken by themselves in their utensils.
If a woman or youth wants to start a business of eating from her home, Sheetal advises them to start their work at a small level. Take a trial first and see what you can give people apart.
* Always keep food quality and taste intact. Never compromise the quality of the ingredients used in cooking.
* Use social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook etc. for marketing.
* Always try to give something new to the customers and keep taking feedback from them.
* Work regularly, whether orders are low or high. But, if you start once and take a break in the middle and start again, it will reduce your customers. So keep consistency in work.
* Always keep learning something new. It is not necessary that you only learn new dishes to eat. Some different skills like how to promote yourself on social media, how to take good pictures of your food and what new things you can do in your business etc.
* Problems come in every job, therefore, never give up but keep restraint and keep moving forward.
If you live in Bengaluru and want to test Sheetal’s cooked food, you can contact them on their Instagram page. If you want to get any business related advice from them, you can still contact them.