SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Apr 09 - 15, 2001
Born in 1967, Faisal got his education at PAF
Masroor-Base school and National College. He went to Australia in 1988
and came back to Pakistan in 1993 after completing post-graduate
studies in accountancy from Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
Though, his father has been in restaurant and catering business for
the last 22 years, he established a chemical plant for electroplating
chemicals as his first business venture. During last month, his
restaurant Rasoi commenced operations. He could have
joined his father and became part of an established business, but
preferred to do some thing which could become his own identity.
PAGE: Your family has an established
restaurant and catering business, why you have established Rasoi
FAISAL: My father and a brother already have
their own restaurant and catering business. I could have joined them
and it would have been an easy sailing. However, I wanted to have my
very own identity. After I came back to Pakistan, my first business
venture was production and marketing of electroplating chemicals. My
genetic composition pushed me in food business. I selected this site
and in late March this year, Rasoi commenced operations.
PAGE: Why did you select this site?
FAISAL: As you may be aware a number of
established food outlets are already working in this area, which
mostly offer take-away facility. I have established a facility where
families and groups can have a sitting lunch and/or dinner. Rasoi
offers quality and quantity at a reasonable cost. You may be amazed
that we did not go for massive advertising but customer turnout is
very close to our expectations. Most of the customers have been coming
to Rasoi repeatedly. This is a point of satisfaction.
PAGE: You have used an expression 'offering
quality and quantity at a reasonable cost, please explain this?
FAISAL: Remember that most of the food
outlets offer the same menu. Any one can have an edge on others if
operator is conscious about quality, quantity and price. Most of the
customers are willing to pay a premium if they get quality and
quantity. As a policy Rasoi does not charge any premium,
rather our prices are competitive and no compromise on quality. To
ensure superior quality, we emphasize on quality of each ingredient.
Besides, we have hired the services of expert chef, prepare each order
with care and give personal attention to every visitor. At times some
customers may feel that we take longer time in serving food. However,
those who prefer quality realize this. Preparing a fresh dish/item
takes its own time. For example preparing a Tikka takes minimum
PAGE: What are Rasoi specials?
FAISAL: I would like to say that each item
served at Rasoi is an special item. We make our best
efforts in preparing each item. However, our customers term at least
three items as Rasoi special. These are: Bar-B-Que, Thaali
and Seekh Kabab. These items are served at almost each outlet
but customers have been visiting us to eat these repeatedly. Rasoi
Tikka is a preferred item because of its quality. Thaali
is popular because of items it contain and its price — Rs 90.00/Thaali.
Not only that price is affordable but a person gets a chance to have a
number of items including a sweet dish.
PAGE: Initially the food outlets come with a
big bang but gradually quality standard goes down, what could be the
FAISAL: I have all the reasons to believe
that no owner or management likes to lower quality standard. However,
with increased traffic of customers, timely service becomes a serious
problem particularly in Bar-B-Que business. As said earlier preparing
a Tikka takes 15-20 minutes. A common practice is to keep
have-ready Tikkas to ensure prompt service. The taste of two Tikkas—
the one prepared in one go and the other prepared in two stages is
very different. The other possible reason is that with increased
demand for inputs, management may not be able to maintain quality of
various ingredients. I will once again say that decline in quality
standard is not deliberate but more a management/logistics problem.
Those who are able to maintain quality manage to increase sales volume
and those who fail often go broke.
PAGE: Why customer traffic is larger at
dinner as compared to lunch time?
FAISAL: It is more due to our eating habits
than any other reason. Most of the people like to take light-food at
lunch or cannot go out due to work load. Eating outside is part of
evening entertainment for families. Therefore, customer traffic is
very high on weekends and on holidays. Foreign food franchise have not
reduced the market size of traditional items. However, now people have
a greater variety to select their favourite item. It has been observed
that now families go out for eating more frequently and arranging
dinners at food outlets is getting popular. Housewives are not only
saved from spending long hours in kitchens but also saved from dish