Chennai

Losing their jobs to the pandemic, six friends from Tiruvallur now run a successful food truck

Expansion plans: In a few weeks, they plan to put one more food truck on the road. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Last March, like thousands of others, when 34-year-old Charles Edward Xavier, an IT professional in a leading firm, lost his job, he felt crushed and lost. Around the same time, his childhood friend Dinesh Kumar, who worked as a human resources professional in a leading five-star hotel in the city, also lost his job.

“Our minds seemed shrouded with uncertainty, and we did not know the way forward. That’s when six of us, who did not have jobs, decided to turn into reality one of our casual discussions about running a restaurant. Subsequently, I used a part of my savings and bought a vehicle, customised it and obtained the necessary permissions, and by October, we had started a food truck in Tiruvallur,” Mr. Dinesh says.

Today, a year later, the food truck named ‘Thaayin Koodu Jigiri Dosth’ has been running fairly well, with no one regretting the decision. In a few weeks, they plan to put one more truck on the road.

“Initially, it seemed tough. Used to working in an air-conditioned room, it was tough standing under a tin roof in the scorching heat. I’m also earning only half of what I used to. Yet, I continue to do this because it is immensely satisfying to work with friends. From ₹5 to ₹50, anyone can afford our food. A part of our earnings goes to an old age home that Mr. Dinesh runs. It feels satisfying in more ways than one,” Mr. Xavier says.

They also give a 10% discount for all drivers, provided they can produce an identity card.

Idli, pongal, poori and vadai for breakfast, a variety of rice items for lunch and biryani, chilli chicken, noodles and kothu parotta for dinner, the food truck draws a good crowd everyday, says S. Jeyamaan, the chef.

Parotta and Madurai salna and muttai kalaki are popular items. I did get offers abroad after I lost my job at a hotel. But I did not feel like taking it up. I consider cooking and serving food sacred, and the work I have done in the past year has been immensely satisfying,” he adds.


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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 4:24:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/losing-their-jobs-to-the-pandemic-six-friends-from-tiruvallur-now-run-a-successful-food-truck/article37061214.ece

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