If you’re looking for a challenge, starting a restaurant business could definitely be up there among the toughest. Long days, a constantly changing business environment and a global pandemic thrown into the mix - it’s not for the faint hearted.
This challenge is precisely what draws many adventurous entrepreneurs in. Square Super Seller Manish was looking for a challenge when the opportunity came up at the right time. He and two other partners opened an authentic Indian restaurant and bar, Namaste, in Watford (home of the Harry Potter studio tour). And it has certainly not been without challenges.
Launched on the 1st January 2020, Manish set out into uncharted territory and quickly began building a reputation for Namaste in the local community. Less than three short months later, he was forced to close as the UK went into lockdown. The impact on Namaste was huge. As a new business with lots of new staff, Manish wasn’t able to access government support such as furlough for many of his employees, having to pay staff from his pocket even while the restaurant remained closed.
As the lockdown continued, Manish decided to pivot the business to takeaway and deliveries as a way to keep serving customers. He got set up using Square Online. “It was a blessing to be able to set up an online presence quickly,” he says. “The online ordering platform was simple to get up and running, and the integrations are seamless.”
Via an easy integration with Deliverect, orders from Uber Eats and Deliveroo are sent straight to Square KDS (kitchen display system) in the Namaste kitchen. The system keeps everything organised and is really easy for the team to use.
The delivery side of Namaste has been very successful and even now restrictions have lifted, Manish plans to share the focus of the business between dine-in and takeaway/delivery. “I’m excited about launching more dark kitchen out of our kitchen” he tells us.
Whether they are enjoying the relaxed, modern atmosphere of the restaurant, or eating at home, Namaste’s authentic north Indian food and flavours keep customers coming back. It’s also earning a reputation in Watford as a great place to organise parties and get-togethers.
Manish continues to focus on exploring new ideas and finding his next big challenge. He also joined Square Seller Community as a Super Seller and now helps other Sellers get the most out of Square tools for their businesses. “If you like the features available in Square, please go for it.”