SupportBiz spoke with Yogesh Mokashi, one of the co-founders of The Egg Factory. Edited excerpts:
Tell us about the founders of The Egg Factory...
The Egg Factory was started by Rajesh Pai, Ajith Pai and myself.
I have a background in engineering and an MBA. Rajesh is an engineer turned restaurateur, and has been a part of many hospitality ventures. He presently owns another restaurant called Kanua in Bangalore. Ajith comes from the manufacturing industry, now largely into contract farming. He is presently one of the largest growers of lettuce in India.
How did you come up with the idea of starting The Egg Factory?
I come from a family of vegetarians, where egg was not often cooked. So, eggs always held that fascination and mystery for me. Later, when I went to Manipal to do my MBA, I found eggs on the menu of almost every restaurant, cooked in a variety of ways. The versatility of the egg called out to me. When we decided to start a venture of our own, I suggested the idea of a restaurant with majorly egg-based dishes. The idea appealed to both my friends, after which we researched the feasibility of setting up such a restaurant. That is how The Egg Factory came about.
How many outlets do you have presently? Where?
We currently have two outlets – one in St. Marks Road and the other in JP Nagar, Bangalore.
Which are your most popular dishes?
Our Malabar egg biryani, masala omelette, egg bhurji, ménage a trois, French toast and huevos rancheros are the most popular.
Tell us about the initial investment that was needed to start The Egg Factory...
We started with an investment of INR38 lakhs, all of which was arranged for from our personal funds.
How big is your team?
We have a team of 35 at present, across both our locations.
What are your expansion plans?
We plan to start a few more outlets soon, and are looking for funding for the same. At present, our focus is on Bangalore.
Tell us about the competition in your field. What sets you apart?
Though we are a specialty restaurant, all kinds of eateries are competition for us, in a broad sense of the word. Our USP is that we focus on one single ingredient – that is the egg – and offer a huge variety of dishes cooked from it. Our food is fresh and cooked only after an order is placed by a customer. Along with this, our ambience also sets us apart from other eateries. In short, we concentrate on providing our customers a great experience overall when they visit us – and not just good food.
What are the major challenges that we face? How do you deal with them?
One of the biggest challenges that we face is finding, hiring and retaining efficient staff, as well as training them to follow our practices and procedures, dissuading them from taking shortcuts. We try to deal with this by investing in our human capital – by providing our staff with good salaries, helping them develop their skills if they are interested, respecting them, and keeping our promises to them.
Apart from this, another big challenge that we face is the red tape that is prevalent in the business environment in the country. Things do not get done without a constant push from us, taking away a lot of time and energy.
What are the major trends that you see emerging in the eating-out habits of Indians?
There are three major trends that I spot:
- The frequency of eating out has increased, due to several reasons. People are more willing to eat out now than before.
- There are several non-professional restaurateurs, like ourselves, entering the industry lately. In other words, there are several hoteliers entering the industry who do not have a family background of restauranting.
- More and more people are tending to look for a good overall experience when they go out for dining, and not just good food. This has led to the emergence of several themed or corporatized restaurants in India.
What have been your major learnings from business?
An entrepreneur should try and keep things as simple as possible. His/her processes and policies should be easy to implement as well as communicate to others.
Entrepreneurship can be quite a draining job, and thus, it is crucial for an entrepreneur to have some kind of outlet to let off steam. This could be any hobby, basically anything that he/she loves to do apart from business.
Corporate Website: The Egg Factory