Last year, Delhi’s Baba Ka Dhaba grabbed headlines like no other! The story of how an elderly couple went from struggling financially to opening a restaurant was inspiring to many. That one incident started the #BabaKaDhaba movement which has been continuing even to this day!
However, not everything is happy on the other side. According to News18, Kanta Prasad and his wife Badaami Devi are back to their old roadside eatery at Malviya Nagar. They had to shut down the restaurant in February after it was unsuccessful.
According to Hindustan Times, once again, the couple is struggling to survive because of the lockdown and the lack of customers.
“The daily footfalls at our dhaba have declined because of the ongoing Covid lockdown, and our daily sales have come down from Rs 3,500 before the lockdown to Rs 1,000 now. The income is not sufficient for our family of eight,” Kanta Prasad said.
Last year, after his story went viral and customers thronged his stall, Kanta Prasad invested Rs 5 lakhs to open a restaurant. He also hired three other workers. For the first couple of days, the restaurant was a success. He had installed CCTV cameras inside the restaurant and bought smartphones for his family.
His monthly expenditure was Rs 1 lakh – Rs 35,000 for rent, Rs 36,000 to pay salaries of the three workers, and Rs 15,000 for electricity, water and to procure food ingredients.
“But the average monthly sales never crossed Rs 40,000. I had to bear all the losses. In hindsight, I feel we were wrongly advised to open a new restaurant,” Kanta Prasad said.
“Of the total investment of ₹5 lakh, we managed to recover only ₹36,000 from the sale of chairs, utensils, and cooking machines, after the restaurant shut down,” he added.
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“All our money is gone. Our children are unemployed and we are old and cannot run the dhaba anymore. We hope the government will help us in some way,” Badaami Devi said.
Moreover, Kanta Prasad put the blame for his failing business on a social worker named Tushant Adlakha who allegedly advised the elderly couple to open the restaurant.
“Essentially it was he (Adlakha) and his team who managed and supervised everything, including the investment and sales. He said he would make it a success, but he never gave enough time to the restaurant,” Baba said.
However, Adlakha refuted the claims saying, “From setting up the restaurant to bringing customers and orders for home delivery of food, we did everything. What else could we do? Prasad’s two sons took charge of the restaurant, but they hardly ever stayed at the counter. There were enough orders for home delivery, but the two failed to deliver them.”
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