Published: 06th October 2018
Say goodbye to hygiene concerns and savour tasty Indian street food from the kitchens of Backyard Food Co
Analytics come into play when we not only track, but even forecast what sells best at which particular kiosk, says Praveen Battula
Give us a dahi papdi chaat over a cheesy pizza any day and we will lick that plate clean. That's the draw of Indian street food and when we say this, we not only speak for ourselves, but on behalf of several other foodies as well. We might hesitate for a minute when we think about the possible lack of hygiene, but we eventually give in to our cravings anyway. So Backyard Food Co, a Hyderabad-based start-up, decided to not only bring hygiene into the picture, but also include a select few popular Indian street food snacks from across the country like Bihar's litti chokha and Gujarat's dhabeli, standardise their recipes and sell them at kiosks and outlets.
With Western street food, things are easier, but because Indian street food has diversity, range and complex cooking methods, the process becomes a little more complicated, believes Battula
Started by Praveen Battula, Ravi Venkat and Praneeth Ravi in 2017 with five outlets, they plan to scale up to 20 by June 2019. Funnily, "the idea of this start-up came from a very casual remark during a conversation we were having and we decided to take it seriously," says Battula, who was born and brought up in Sunabeda, Odisha and studied in Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, Visakhapatnam. They started a couple of ventures in the City of Destiny, but it was in Hyderabad where they truly fulfilled their destiny.
Location, please?: They have outlets in Kondapur, Kavuri Hills, Madhapur, Kompally and Jubilee Hills
"We are not looking at this as a traditional business; we are still looking at it from a start-up point of view. We want to solve the problems of the food industry," says Battula. To reduce overhead costs due to rentals and infrastructure, Backyard Food Co opts to sell their food out of kiosks. Their menu is standardised which eliminates the need for a skilled chef and also helps in maintaining consistency and thus is obviously more scalable. Due to its implementation, they have very less wastage and pilferage as well. "We usually cook in our centralised kitchen in Patancheru Industrial Park where we ensure that food is cooked as per the FSSAI standards," says the entrepreneur who turns 27 this December. The food is packed using technology that ensures that the shelf life is enhanced without the use of preservatives.
They started their first outlet with juices and shakes by borrowing money from friends and using their credit cards. When they started receiving good feedback, they decided to turn it into a business model
Even their workforce at the kiosk is trained to adhere to high-quality food standards. Every kiosk is equipped with a fridge and freezer, deep fryers, induction and storage spaces to ensure that it can function smoothly. Food is heated, assembled, processed and served on areca leaf plates, keeping the environment in mind. "All the outlets are linked to our software application where the entire supply chain is mapped, right from procurement to the customer's plate," he informs. Most of their outlets are in Hyderabad, but soon, they plan to scale this model and take Backyard Food Co outside Telangana as well. "We want to raise another round of investment to scale up," says Battula and concludes that, "We are on our way to building a national food brand with no chef or a kitchen at any of our outlets."
For more on them, click on facebook.com/backyard.co.