Viresh always has been an ardent chaat lover but what stopped him from eating this most loved finger-licking delicacy was the lack of quality and hygiene with which it is made. That was when he did his study in this chaat segment and realized that there is a huge potential in this segment (who does not like chaats in India?) but there a niche segment which is craving for quality and hygiene. What seemed a problem was an opportunity for Viresh – Lack of quality and hygiene was the gap that needed to be filled.
That’s how Khatti Meethi Chaatimes was born.
KHATTI MEETHI CHAATIMES is an interesting convergence of ideas conceptualized by a Foodie and realized by an Entrepreneur. The entrepreneur realized the opportunity in chaat-segment and the foodie having traveled across India craved authentic chaats. Khatti Meethi Chaatimes is the incorporation of both of their ideas to realize their dreams. When you indulge in chaats at Khatti Meethi Chaatimes, you become a part of their dream to give you the best-tasting Chaats with the assurance of quality. The customer fondly calls the place as Chaatimes. This was the beginning of a new evolution in the taste Chaats in Bangalore!!
Started in 2013 Chaatimes now serves “one plate every 2 sec’s to walk-in customers” and “one order every 30 sec’s” online.
As Indians, our love affair with Pani Puri only grows stronger every day. An Indian who isn’t a Pani Puri is an anomaly. No surprise then that Viresh’s and Prashant’s ‘Khatti Meethi Chaatimes’ – a chain of Chaat-food joints specializing in Indian chaats has become quite a hit in Bangalore. Offering not only tasty Chaats but also the assurance of quality and cleanliness. Chaatimes has all the flavor of street food with none of the hygiene risks.
While Viresh nurtured his entrepreneurial spirit since his college days (he ran a successful music store), further education and lack of capital both couldn’t take it further. For viresh the flame to start something on his own never died. Explaining how the idea to start Chaatimes came about, he says, “The entrepreneur in me kept calling”. Viresh last worked with Infosys as Pre-Sales consultant and his work involved traveling abroad frequently; his travels in India and abroad (while working) have given him the knowledge that has been implemented in running Chaatimes – Understanding trends, applying the concepts of branding and positioning; and setting service standards have been a result of his extensive traveling.
Prashant always is passionate about food since childhood. He comes from a place called Haveri from Karnataka; the place is filled with gastronomes. He comes from a media background which helped him tasting food from different places as during his media stint and at the same time trying different delicacies on his own.
Prashant and Viresh have known each other since childhood: one inspired by the West with respect to hygiene and cleanliness and how a food joint should be established and run; and other knew the zest for food. The amalgamation of two skills has resulted in the creation of a Chaat chain Khatti Meethi Chaatimes. The duo was with the idea of serving the best of chaats across India in one basket. Now they have unique items known across India being served under Chaatimes umbrella – Tokari Chaat, Misal Pav, Onion Kachori, Vada Pav, Dilli wali Puri Bhaji Jamoon, Indori Poha with Samosas and many more.
The story started with a small outlet at Hanumath- Basavangudi Nagar just opposite the famous Rajanikath Bus Stop. The business picked and orders scaled up and the expansion plan began.
Prashant and Viresh started expanding the outlets across Bangalore. The investment was through a bootstrap model and they started expanding conventionally. Prashant felt the model of expansion did not keep up the taste consistency across all outlets, there was a lot of wastage and risk of manpower (if chef quit, arranging another in sooner time was very difficult). This was when Prashant sprung up with the idea of a “chef-less” kitchen concept across all outlets of Chaatimes. The recipes standardization and centralized preparation of all ingredients killed three problems in one go – taste inconsistency, manpower, and wastage. The customer now had the experience of the same taste across all outlets of Chaatimes.
Both the partner worked in tandem on their strengths; Prashant worked on the operational issues, While Viresh with his marketing skills was thinking of new strategies. Viresh was a harbinger of the “Express Counter” concept and Food Truck as well. They say necessity is the mother of all invention. This holds very apt for Chaatimes. With the demonetization, the business did not go well and Chaatimes was almost at the risk of shutdown. That was when Viresh thought how we can reach and service to different areas of the city without much investment and yet make business; he hit upon the idea of Express Counter Concept. The Express Counter expansion helped in killing the real estate and inaccessibility to customers. Today with the “Chef Less” kitchen concept Chaatimes is able to service nearly 18 outlets across Bangalore from Whitefield to Airport and Jakkur to E-City.
Influx of Chaaty Ideas
Who does not like Chaat? Everyone likes but can I get quality Chaats to follow me wherever I go? This very thought made Viresh think how can he make Chaatimes mobile? That’s when the Food Truck took birth.
The Chaatimes Food Truck – first of its kind in the Chaat segment came with the theme of Picnic with Food Truck. The Tagline itself is self-explanatory for the customer to understand the concept. With word of mouth and social media advertising Chaatimes Food Truck now serves various events across Corporate like Cisco, Infosys, Karnataka Tourism Corporation, Mysore Dasera, etc. other than individual requirements for a wedding. The truck can service more than 10000 customers a day and more than 3000 plates. The Food Truck services interstate requirements as well and they have been able to service almost all events from a small family get together to large Wedding Events.
The going never stopped with Food Truck… with serving the customer across varied investors the two were thinking how to fill the time-based menu served during the snack to morning slot as well. That’s when Prashant with the foodie’s brain came with the idea of One of its kind breakfasts like the Dilli wali Puri Bhaji with Jamoon, Indori Poha with Samosa, Varanasi wali Kachori Aloo Sabji Jalebi.
Making Life Chatpati
The Journey has been exciting with rough rides and smooth rides, but the duo has never let their spirits down. Every hurdle has been converted into a win. Both believe there is a huge opportunity in the food space to explore, innovate and serve. Their next plan is to expand to other major cities and make Khatti Meethi Chaatimes another Mc D of India With Khatti Meethi Chaatimes both want to make every customer experience Chatpati!!!