How Covid-19 is crushing Darshini hotels in Bengaluru

The quintessential Darshini fast food eatery, found in every nook and corner of Bengaluru, is fast losing the plot amid the Covid-19 pandemic as business fails.

Soft and fluffy idlis dipped in sambar, butter dosa drenched in coconut chutney, bisi bele bath (a mix of lentils, rice and vegetables), served hot in a steel plate, accompanied by a one-by-two coffee in a self-serve small south Indian restaurant, Café Darshini in Jayanagar, caught the attention of many Bengalureans when it was started back in 1983.

Served hot and steaming from the oven, and at a price affordable for the middle class, Darshini was a concept that many big businessmen dismissed as a fast route to failure.

But R Prabhakar, the man behind the restaurant was sure that this would work. His business model was affordable prices, high-volume of customers and low-profit margins, lesser or no wait time.

Most of the dishes were served quickly and it operated without any advertising. The marketing was largely driven by word of mouth in and around the locality.

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