BHOK LAGYO: MIDNIGHT CRAVING TAKEN CARE OF
You’re hard at work preparing for that really important presentation. You’ve been on such a powerful productive mode that you thought 7 p.m. was 5 minutes ago. You glance at your watch and it’s already 1:30 a.m. You begin to realize that your eyes are weary and your belly is empty. You walk down to the kitchen and as you grab the cold handle of the fridge, you ask yourself: do I really want to cook right now? You’d rather just sleep. But the marathon of rats in your belly is too much to put up with. And then you remember; there’s a much easier way to go about this. You dial 9801009334 and hear the soothing voice of Bhok Lagyo telling you that you’re not going to go to sleep hungry.
Bhok Lagyo was started last year by Shejey Agyitsang, Abhishek Gurung, Pratiyush Man Singh, and Phinjock Sherpa, and they have been going strong in the late, and early, hours of the day ever since. Yes, their menu is quite small, but beggars can’t be choosers. When you’re up when no one is, they are like knights in shining armor with a minimal, yet effective, arsenal and side arms of tantalizing signature sauces (something they might mass produce) who show up with in 30mins of your call to slay the dragon in the depths of your bowels. So if you feel hungry in the middle of the night, who ya gonna call? Bhok Lagyo!
And guess what, you can also call them up during the day time and enjoy their services while the sun is still up. They’re a growing business to look out for; which is why we caught up with Mr. Shejey and Mr. Abhishek to know more about this unique venture. Plus, both of them are detail oriented health nuts; which means the food they prepare is at the peak of hygiene.
HOW DID BHOK LAGYO COME TO BE?
The idea behind Bhok Lagyo comes from the sense of everything being in the right time. We were at the time of our lives where we wanted to start something. And while we were brainstorming, we realized the there is a deficiency of eateries and delivery services that cater to people who call at night. So we thought that it’d be a good idea to fill this gap.
CONSIDERING THAT YOU SERVE DURING THE NIGHT TIMES, DID YOU EXPERIENCE ANY DIFFICULTIES?
When we were in our initial phase, we had the issue of people taking us seriously. Perhaps the idea of night-time food delivery was too out of the box! So people would hesitantly place their orders, and would be pleasantly surprised when we’d call them from outside their door. This was nicely received, but they weren’t really pleased with the food itself. So we’ve worked on it and it’s far better now.
Apart from that, there is no denying that there is an issue of employment all over the world, and it goes both ways; people trying to find the right job and business trying to find the right people. We, as a start-up, had struggled through this, and still do. For instance, when we had started out, we had employed people who were willing and enthusiastic at first, but they soon bailed out. But it was a learning phase for us as it has kept us on our toes on who we should work with.
Also, we receive complaints, though quite rare, saying that the food is cold. For this, we’re trying to speed up our delivery and better the packaging, we’re fighting against the chill of the night.
LIKE YOU SAID, HUMAN RESOURCE IS AN ISSUE. HOW DID YOU BATTLE IT?
We’ve taken care of it by making our workplace as dynamic and lively as we can. We have a team of young and enthusiastic staff, and there’s Techno music in the background playing on big speakers. We make it a fun and rewarding place to work. As the staff interdependently work among themselves, they follow the slogan T.E.A.M which stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT THE INDUSTRY IS HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?
Of course. With this venture, we have been exposed to a community of younger generation of problem solvers and business entrepreneurs. We have met and seen people solving real life problems, all while living an ordinary life. Not only has this motivated us, but also shown us that the industry is being populated by youth and energy which promises a brighter future.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?
Even though we take orders from the usual social messaging apps, we have the most hassle free process of locating the delivery location. With most food delivery in Kathmandu, there is a repeated process of explaining the directions of the location. In our case, our customers send us an exact location map from their phones (with their GPS), and our delivery boys show up right where you need them, with your food.
ANYTHING THAT GOES BUMP IN THE NIGHT?
Since we work till 4 am, we sometimes get prank calls and drunken dials. It is a challenge to understand some orders at time; however every customer is equally important to us. And sometimes, when we reach the location, the customer decides not to pay, or not show up, or even fall asleep!
HOW HAVE THE FEEDBACKS BEEN?
They have been monumental to keep our motivations up! Our customers are happy with the delivery, and they have made us realize that our hunch was correct. The orders we receive and the reviews they give has made this sort of service an actual and serious market, and that really pushes us to do what we do.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MEMORABLE MOMENTS?
The most rewarding moment for us was hearing that the Nepalese out in Australia, Thailand and other foreign countries have heard about us and were waiting to try our menu when they get back home. That was a great pat on the back for us and it showed us the power of word of mouth, especially within the Nepalese market.
HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN SO FAR?
We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary this month and with a good traction forward, we are preparing an investor proposal and planning meetings. We have achieved a good reputation in terms of our brand name and we plan to carry it forward in the days ahead.
ANY NEW STATEGIES YOU HAVE IN MIND TO GET YOURSELF MORE OUT THERE?
We think that local marketing is the way to go for us. In the beginning, we steered away from over marketing ourselves because we’re doing this as a small business with our own investment and we didn’t want a bone we couldn’t swallow. So we took to social media casually. Coming to the present, we are not as active on Facebook as we used to be, but we have a pretty decent Instagram game. We are also handing out vouchers to individuals with a strong influence and large following base, and in doing so we are creating a virtual word of mouth for ourselves. This has been going well for us and we seek to continue doing so.
AND FOR THE FUTURE?
Bhok Lagyo’s menu is not big, and a big menu was never the intention. We would definitely like to work more on the food. Our burgers and mo:mos are really good now so we’ll definitely push it forward. And In the coming days, we are acquiring funding so we’ll be able to come up with a day time menu as well.
Words: Nirveek PPJ Shah| Photos: Gaurav Xhompate Sunuwar