One of the key advantages of hotel business is no ‘credit‘ business. All payments are instant, cash or card. Very few other businesses can claim this unique advantage of instant cashflow, a key to business performance & sustainability. Ask anyone in business, who has to sell on credit & collect later, the power of ‘NO CREDIT PLEASE’ ( usually found in some old, small restaurants, even today!)

‘There is no free lunch’. Moreover, belief in karmic effect of our thought/word/deed prompt us to pay. We still love ‘discounts’ !

But here is a restaurant where you can eat best of ‘homely’ food and walk away without paying a cent. You can actually ‘Eat as you like and pay or not pay as you like’! An amazing business model.

Heard about this restaurant in Singapore yesterday. ‘Authentic vegetarian, Tamilian-Indian cuisine, great experience’! ‘Eat as you like and pay as you like’ – was a true bouncer! An inspiring business model, I felt. Suddenly there was an urge to check out this place and of course check out food. When the intention is pure, fulfillment is immediate! Got a chance to visit, this afternoon, with two friends!!

As I entered, I didn’t feel I have walked into a restaurant at all. You feel you have entered a shrine-room of a big house. As I stood in awe, familiarizing with the elevating decor, my friend guided me to a table, he short-listed with the elderly gentleman at the cash. The man at cash looked far from a typical owner/manager at cash – lean, smiling, stress-free and with a tilak on his forehead. He seemed to be in control of the operations and also, with himself.

Picked up few of my preferred items from the buffet-spread and settled down for a sumptuous lunch. A lady, more like a sister, genuinely interested to serve, offered a drink- varieties of lassi, juices to buttermilk. I opted for a butter-milk. The spread was indeed very elaborate – roti, dal, varieties of rice, urd-vada, sambar-rice, alu curry, pappad, pickle and dessert. Dessert was fresh fruits and a local variant of kheer/payasam – with sabu-dana, sweet potato, coconut, etc. All dishes held the aroma of pure ghee, but none of dishes were too spicy nor too oily. Needless to add, every dish tasted most homely. (That is the best compliment, I guess.)

Had a brief chat with the man-at-counter, who continued to smile all the while we were eating. Smile is usually not the natural disposition of most of people at cash, in restaurants! As expected, there was a spiritual connection, going by Swami Sivananda’s photograph. It was started by a follower of Swamiji. You can actually pay ‘as you like’.

Of course, that is not case with their branch at our own Chennai! I did not ask him ‘why’ ! I am inspired by the fact they have been able to pull it off at least in Singapore. This unique business model in the area of food business.

Brilliant ‘business’ model. Depending on the level of satisfaction, we can pay.
Nature provides everything free. But we put a price tag on everything, for processing/transporting/etc.

Great food, courteous ‘staff’ serving with love…Truly, ‘Annam Brahma’ !

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