THE WORKSHOP EATERY
For many, an old-fashioned, mouth-watering hamburger is as good a reason as any to find a place that serves an authentic experience. That search for us had a happy ending when we tried some burgers and fries at The Workshop Eatery located at Bakhundole, Latitpur. The restaurant’s big heart is in the right place—which just happens to be sending everyone that enters the eatery with a happy face. It’s all meant to capture memories, the subtle concept of coziness, calm, and welcoming. The place might not be a whole lot big, but the food is satisfying, tempting and wholesome. For someone who has tried the burgers of international food chains, the Workshop eatery comes pretty close as claimed by the owner, Mr. Sangam Piya himself.
I gained some experience at a burger place in London. After 3 years of doing that, I was confident enough to create something for the Nepali market.
WAS OPENING THE WORKSHOP EATERY IN THE PLANS SINCE LONG?
I am a huge foodie myself and I have an interest in cooking as well. In this vein, I always had a thought of doing something food related. That’s why I gained some experience at a burger place in London where I learnt to make burgers. After 3 years of doing that, I was confident enough to create something for the Nepali market. I was also very passionate about doughnuts and pastries; I used to bake at home employing different techniques and ingredients. I was getting a lot of positive response from my friends and family so I thought that they’d do well if I sold them. So far it has and I’m happy about it.
WHAT ABOUT THE NAME?
I decided on the name The Workshop Eatery simply because it was recommended by a friend and it clicked.
WHAT STRUGGLES HAVE YOU BEEN THROUGH WHILE OPERATING THE EATERY? AND HOW ARE YOU OVERCOMING THEM?
Most restaurants that I have seen have the charm and the ambience but they are not sure about what they are selling. When that happens, it becomes difficult for the businesses to sustain. That is where I thought I should focus on and always stay true to what we are selling. So this makes the process of overcoming these unique set of challenges all about perseverance. Our formula has been to deal with each and every problem with patience and try to get the best possible solution and do what is needed to tackle that problem.
HOW WOULD YOU EXPLAIN THE WORKSHOP EATERY? WHAT DOES IT SYMBOLIZE?
It is a family targeted fast food joint that specializes in different types of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, fries, and doughnuts.
HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS?
I am happy with the overall response. But initially I didn’t have anything to compare it to. Yes. we know how fast food is doing in the western countries but we couldn’t base our expectations on that because of the huge population and the demographic structure there. However, 60% of our customers are foreigners and when they come time after time it gives me the validation that the dishes here share a common taste that they are accustomed to.
WHAT SORT OF SUSTAINABILITY PLANS AND STRATEGIES ARE YOU PLANNING ON IMPLEMENTING FOR THE LONG RUN?
To be honest, sustaining in the Nepalese market is very hard, but everything has its perks and its drawbacks. The current situation in Nepal is that if something new enters the market it creates an impact but slowly it starts deteriorating and that business loses its spark. Keeping that in mind our sustainability plan is to keep including some new things in a continuous way to help keep the market that we already have and make room to accommodate more into it.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM THE WORKSHOP EATERY IN THE FUTURE?
Talking as of now, I cannot guarantee anything. We would love to see our outlets in different areas and use new and interesting marketing strategies to keep staying in the market. We also hope to bring in new items into our menu.
WHAT MAKES THE WORKSHOP EATERY HAVE THAT EDGE OVER OTHER FAST FOOD PLACES?
Quality plays a big factor for almost anything. So, we look towards quality to differentiate ourselves in the market. In addition to that, cutting corners is not an option. Consumers are intuitive and the moment there is a degrade in the quality is detected, our integrity is questioned. Hence, with quality comes consistency. Then there’s always the customer engagement which we love to do and see ourselves doing.
Words: Shreeya Sangroula| Photos: Gaurav Xhompate Sunuwar