Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's largest fast-food restaurant chains don't exist in Bhutan. But with the changing lifestyle of people, their taste for continental dishes is also increasing at an accelerating rate.

Posted on 12/13/20
By Tshering Denkar | Via Daily Bhutan
(Photo courtesy Bhutan Times)
Macdonalizion and world food chain has not yet conquered the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. World-leading food franchises like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks and many other food supplies are substituted by locally made food and snacks. It was only recently that, with the changing lifestyle of people over time and their taste for continental dishes cravings increasing at accelerating rate, Thai dishes, Chinese hotpot, Japanese sushi, Barbecue, Ethnic Fusion, Paninis, Organic and beverages are served at fancy restaurants, Bistro and Cafes in Thimphu Town.

Over time, many cafes have come into existence, in fact, in the capital city, and the alone number of café outnumbers the libraries in the whole of Thimphu. Today several firms deliver food at our doorsteps like Pie Wheels4Meals and Dish@Door.  The couple – Purba, 25, and her husband Ugyen Jatsho, 29  – decided to look out of the ordinary window for new business opportunities. Upon researching market segmentation and validation regarding the mobile food vehicle, they found out the unique way of catering food to the customer, that was by catering food on wheels.

A mobile food truck business is a great way to expand existing restaurant sales or break into the food industry. While food trucks have traditionally been associated with simple fares like sandwiches, hot dogs, or ice cream, today’s food truck business has exploded into a cornucopia of gourmet treats. Today, restaurant food trucks offer every kind of cuisine and dish from Kung Pao Chicken to gourmet cupcakes to smoked BBQ ribs.

Today, Food trucks are one of the most popular restaurant concepts. Compared to restaurants, they offer low start-up costs and low overhead. However, a food truck is still a business and as such, requires hard work and dedication to be successful.
Setting up a food truck was no walk in the park for the owners. In 2018, the couple processed for a license and after more than 1 and a half years, they manage to acquire a business license from Thimphu Dzongkhag making the Food on Truck first of its kind in the country. They customized the design and fabricated the food truck for cooking and selling directly to the client at busy locations. Although the truck is spotted mostly in Sangaygang, it seldom moves around the capital city. With low startup costs and high mobility, they can show up in rural areas, weddings, or other private parties. The owners have been experimenting with the Location of the Food Truck.

One of their mission was also to create employment opportunities and rightly so today the owner of the food truck has employed three youth. The founder of this unique service has also committed to donating 10% of the profit gained from the company to old age orphans again. With the introduction of Food on Wheels, few Bhutanese people have mixed feelings over the existence of the western food concept in Bhutan and that the practice encourages trash disposal.

However, many people are excited about the food on wheels business. The new style of the eatery will only contribute to the knowledge-based on the culture of western culinary and gastronomy experiences among Bhutanese.

Today, Food trucks are one of the most popular restaurant concepts. Compared to restaurants, they offer low start-up costs and low overhead. However, a food truck is still a business and as such, requires hard work and dedication to be successful.

This article first appeared in Daily Bhutan. Click here to go to the original.

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