George Bernard Shaw had once said “There is no sincerer love than love for food”. I am a strong believer of this legendary statement. Be it the gourmet fine dines or the affordable street food soaked in the local culture, I have always been fascinated by the huge diaspora of food our country offers. In fact, one complaint my parents always had about me was that my single biggest expense during the meagre pocket money days of student life and the reasonable salary days of working life was always restaurant bills.
This passion for food was just waiting for that trigger from the inner soul to make it my way of life. Post MBA, my corporate stint first in GE and then in Johnson & Johnson gave me the opportunity to travel to many of the countries in South East Asia. It was these visits that made me fall in love with the flavours and cuisine of this part of the world. The hutongs in Beijing, the buzzing food streets of Bangkok, the vibrant night markets of Ho Chi Minh City or the ever lively Clarke Quay in Singapore- every location has such a rich legacy and a compelling story to be told. The subtle flavours, the magnetic aromas, the hustle & bustle of the food street vendors- on the whole an electrifying experience for the visitors. That was the genesis of the brand Auntie Fung’s.
Eating out today has evolved from an occasion driven activity to an occasion itself. The young Indian families want to break their daily life monotone by eating out or ordering from their favourite food joint. Be it the strong influence of the famous Chinatown of Kolkata or the impact of globalization, Chinese food is not alien to the Indian palate. In fact, after the different local Indian cuisines, Chinese cuisine (or the Indianised version of it) features in the top three in terms of customer preference. But Asian cuisine is so much more than just Chinese. The subtle aromatic flavours, the steamed & grilled healthy options from different Asian countries should reach the masses of India. I need not go to a gourmet fine dine and pay a fortune for the experience.
Smelling this huge opportunity, I heard my inner call and plunged into the world of entrepreneurship last year. “AUNTIE FUNG’S- Asian food comes home” was born in March 2015 in Bangalore with the vision of bringing the rich flavourful Asian street food to mainstream India in a healthy & hygienic, quick service environment. A street is where you will find the heart of a cuisine and its culture- Auntie Fung’s symbolizes that truly Asian essence. The brand mascot is a quintessential Asian lady, slightly plump with an ever smiling face serving the Asian comfort food from her food cart. The curated menu is short but eclectic with the choicest delicacies from Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia and of course China. The street food which is the epicentre of the brand consists of satay from Indonesia , dimsum from China and yakitori from Japan to name a few. The celebrated Khowsuey from Burma, Pho from Vietnam, Nasi Goreng from Indonesia, Red & Green curry from Thailand are some the main course options which has helped the brand stand out from the crowd.
Working on a lean, low capex business model with a limited menu offering and a relatively small dine-in focusing predominantly on take away and delivery channel to drive growth have helped us maintain healthy positive unit economics right from day one. With a strong focus on food taste & quality which I believe is the single biggest driver of repeat customers in food business, we have been able to drive a very healthy (>50%) repeat customer base. Happy customers and a strong word of mouth marketing gave Auntie the confidence to expand her footprint and thus the second outlet was opened in February 2016 in Hennur Cross.
Auntie Fung’s today is a sixteen month old baby trying to make a footprint in the food landscape of Bangalore by winning customer hearts through her signature Asian delicacies. There are times when our patrons love our food & service which makes Auntie and her team feel very enthused and motivated. But there are also moments when our customers are unhappy with our offering. With utmost modesty Auntie apologizes and tries to understand the reasons behind it to prevent recurrence of such incidents. But her food expedition has just begun. She continues her journey of exploring new dishes, new cuisines across Asia with the vision of making Auntie Fung’s the face of Asian street food in India in a quick service healthy format.
Stay updated with the latest from Auntie Fung’s on https://www.facebook.com/auntiefungs and do pay a visit to Auntie Fung’s outlet in New BEL Road and Hennur Cross to take a Wok around Asia!!!
New BEL Road Hennur Cross Hunger helpline- 08042228555, 7259667799 Hunger helpline- 08041215558, 7899204477