Count your Calories!!


Best of the business ideas emanate not from Oxford or Harvard, but from the by lanes of nondescript towns. Look at the reward the owner offers to a customer who leaves the plantain leaf fully clean. He not only generates less trash, but has successfully generated much needed consciousness amongst the clients. With the consumers consuming less quantity of food, he has ensured noticeable savings for himself. Looks like a brilliant idea! There is a small eatery that I frequent in Jayanagar for its aromatic chutney and sambar. People drive long distances to partake the dishes on offer. However, the owner had observed, customers take single idli/vada on payment and take repeated helpings of chutney or sambar that is free. Although the owner was gaining on reputation, he was losing out on the profits. He had no clue as to how to arrest the rising trend of free consumption of chutney and sambar. A couple of days ago, I noticed a number of placards that displayed the calories of few dishes, along with chutney and sambar. While the calories of single idli is only 39 calories, a cup of coconut chutney accounts for 150 calories and a bowl of sambar adds another 220 calories!! Since the day he has prominently displayed these boards, there is considerable reduction in consumption of chutney and sambar that is being provided free, while health conscious people have started consuming more idlis on payment!! A small idea, but huge profits!!

Likewise, when I was young, I regularly visited a restaurant in Hubli. Prominently displayed on one of the walls was a board in Kannada that read, “The owner of this hotel also eats in this hotel”! Not just that, the customers often saw the owner actually sitting on the dining table rather than on the cash counter. Needless to mention about the impact that it had on his employees and also the clients. About the impact that it had on the cash counter, no need to mention!

Although made famous by Shiv Khera, the age-old saying holds good for all times, “Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently”!!

Well, as regards this eatery in Jayanagar, while the customers are counting their calories, the owner is happily counting his cash!!

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