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Food truck in Nagaland: Business limps back to life after 5 long months

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 12, 2020 9:16 pm
Food truck seen in Kohima. (EM Images)

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Sep. 12 (EMN): The state capital has been gradually witnessing an upsurge in street food sold by local vendors on the roadsides ahead of the Covid-19 induced nationwide lockdown.

However, with the onset of the pandemic, the streets of Kohima remained empty for months. But after the announcement by the state government to allow all business to operate, the streets are slowly limping back to life.

A food truck called ‘The Burger Factory’, operated by a local youth, has been attracting denizens, especially street foodies in Kohima lately.

The Burger Factory is not only serving a variety of scrumptious burgers to customers but also giving a facelift to the busy markets near Old MLA Hostel in the main town of Kohima.

Puduvizo Khatso, 32, the owner of The Burger Factory, in a conversation with Eastern Mirror, shared that the idea of selling burgers on a food truck came after a few months of ‘thorough research over the internet’.

It all began by modifying a van into a food truck, which is a common sight in cities across India and abroad.

“I first sketched a blueprint of a food truck and tried to buy a suitable car,” said Khatso, a father of three children, who hails from Jakhama.

He shared that he had bought a van and converted it into a food truck at a steel fabrication shop near his residence in Kohima before venturing out into the streets in March.

However, the Covid-induced nationwide lockdown was soon announced and he had to wait for many months to sell his burgers.

Khatso, who is also a restaurateur by profession, informed that he opened his burger shop only on September 4.

The Burger Factory offers four varieties of burgers- Juicy Lucy burger, Teriyaki burger, Tandoori burger and Double Decker burger, which are priced between INR 100 and INR 180. In addition, it also serves hot chicken momo (dumplings), beef momo and ‘rice bowl’.

The restaurateur said that since day one, the response has been positive. “We are receiving good responses till now; people are turning up well,” he said.

Puduvizo Khatso (centre) with Punyem Konyak (right) and Long Chio (left) in their food truck in Kohima. (EM Images)

On an average, Khatso shared that his turnover is around INR 7,000 per day, out of which the profit is around INR 2,000.

He has employed two Naga youth — Punyem Konyak and Long Chio — to take care of the truck as well as cooking, serving and billing.

Khatso shared that prior to teaching his two employees on how to make different burgers, he used to buy meat, buns and other ingredients at home and prepare his own burgers ‘with help from the internet’.

He would then let his family members and others try the varieties of burgers. On receiving ‘constructive feedback’, he decided to put them on sale.

Khatso, the proprietor of Inroad Café, shared that he has already registered The Burger Factory on Fastfoodie App; and added that people have started placing orders for home delivery.

He said altogether, it takes about six people from his restaurant to set up the preparations for the food truck starting 6 am.

“My main focus is on burgers, so I’ll be introducing more varieties of burgers,” Khatso said. However, he also shared that he is keen on introducing beverages like lime juice, iced tea and cold coffee with some ‘deep fried items’.

When queried if he would be changing his location, Khatso replied that since he is getting a “good response” at the present spot near Old MLA Hostel junction, he would not be changing the site soon. The outlet opens from 12 noon to 7 pm.

Meanwhile, Khatso informed that he would be spending around INR 7,000 for registration of his outlet with KMC and about INR 1,000 for food safety registration at the office of the chief medical officer, Kohima.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Sep 12, 2020 9:16:12 pm