In the midst of the hole-in-the-wall darshinis and old Kamat-style sit-down eateries, the old madrasi restaurant in Bangalore Woody?s has come up with a novel concept of selling South Indian food. A kind of concept which provides fast food, while at the same time, makes the restaurant a kind of hangout place.

The basic concept itself is nothing earth-shattering. They have implemented the basic darshini model with a large floor area with lots of tables and chairs. In fact I believe they?ve built in excess capacity, only so that people can just hang around the place after their meal, and people aren?t turned away due to the place being too crowded. Of course this excess capacity finds its way into overpriced food (dosa at Rs. 35), but that is a small excess price to pay by the customer for the whole experience the place offers.

The way the thing works is you go to the counter, order, pay up and are given a token. You find a table and take your seat and soon your number gets called out in a bank-style announcement system, when you get the food. There are no waiters, only a couple of guys to take back used plates and to clean tables. Works like a charm.

The lack of waiters means there is no one to hurry you with your meal, and you can sit there leisurely. The way they have implemented the concept also makes it simple for them to handle bills and stuff. And they have made adequate arrangement for drinking water, cutlery, washing, restrooms, etc.

Only crib with the place is that the food takes a while to arrive, and some of it isn?t made as good as it could be. Also, the guy at the cash counter is way too slow leading to huge pile-ups in front of him. If only Woody?s would outsource its kitchen and maintenance operations to say Vasudev Adiga, it would work like a dream. Looking at Adiga?s foray in to sit-down restaurants ? something he is not very adept at, he could look at the Woody?s model in order to generate extra profits.

PS: Woody?s is not the only restaurant which runs on this model. Just that I went there a few days ago so taking it as an example. Another notable restaurant which runs on this concept is Kadambam (the iyengar restaurant in Jayanagar).

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