Running a brewpub isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about Toit stays that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Our very own Toit Army- a battalion dedicated to the cause of good beer!
It’s time to meet the man who has the best attitude around—Dinesh, our Senior Steward.
He makes sure everything is just as you like it, and some times, even better!
How did Toit happen? What were you doing before you started working here?
Actually, I was working in a Chinese restaurant as a Manager for two years before this. Then one day I was passing by this way, and the building construction was going on. I thought some new company was coming up. Then next day I came here and met Mr.Sibi and submitted my resume. They took my interview and I joined in 2010, on the first day of December, when Toit first opened. From that time I have been here, and it’s going good.
Describe a typical work day.
So, I get up early in the morning at about 7 am, and I go for jogging. Then after that I come home and get fresh. I drop my wife at her work place at 9 am. Then I go back home, make some breakfast for myself, and then come to work. This is when I have the morning shift.
I work in two shifts, one is at 11:30 am and the other is at 2:30 pm. When it is the afternoon shift, I wake up at 8:30, get fresh, drop my wife off to work. Then after dropping her, I go for a jog. When I come back, I need to catch water, because we get Cauvery water at that time, so I do that for one hour. Then I clean the house up and watch some news. After that I make lunch for myself, and my wife.
I have to cook because my wife goes for work!
You seem to be doing all the cooking!
I have to cook because my wife goes for work! She works at a bakehouse nearby. After she works, she goes to evening college. So that’s when I do the cooking.
After I make lunch, I drop it off at her office on my way to work, on the days I have the second shift.
What is your work role as a senior steward?
My responsibilities are to make sure everything is clean and organised. If I see a mess, I need to call housekeeping and make sure it’s cleaned up. If from my side, I can clean up, then I will do it. But if it’s too messy then I need to let housekeeping clean up. Even when glasses are broken, they will come and clean it immediately. That way customers can always be comfortable and have their drinks peacefully.
I also have to make sure that customers get their food and drinks on time. If there is any order, I will use the phones we have to call the kitchen and find out how long it will take. They will give a time, and I will inform the guests accordingly. That makes it easy, and it is a method that makes working at Toit easy. Other places are not like that. They don’t have this phone, and you have to keep running to the kitchen to check if the food is ready, and then things get late.
Here, if we give a time, we try to meet it as far as possible. Sometimes, food comes even earlier.
Do you have a schedule you follow, everyday when you come to work?
Usually, the management will guide us through our daily briefings. We have a fifteen minute briefing everyday by the supervisor and also someone from the management. They will tell us about availability and non-availability for the day, and also new things that need to be sold on that day.
My responsibilities are to make sure everything is clean and organised
If there were any problems on the previous day, we will discuss them and also be told about how to handle them. We learn how to solve the problem in the right way. They will clarify everything.
Then we will go around checking the cleanliness of the place, and make sure everything is very hygienic. That is how we start the day.
Is it a fun job?
I enjoy helping others while working. Team work is a big part of what we do. We are like one family here. Even when we make mistakes, it doesn’t feel like that. But there is a way of correction. They always correct us in the right way. There is no hierarchy here, unlike other places where people can be bossy, saying ‘do this’ and ‘do that’.
Here, everyone helps out. There’s a lot of team work, so if someone is really busy or loaded with work, others help them. And if I am free, I will also help anybody who needs it.
Tell me a little about your journey, and how you ended up in Bangalore.
I have been in Bangalore for seven years. I completed by 2nd PUC in my hometown Darjeeling itself, and then came here to work in a call centre but didn’t have too much support at that time. Then a friend asked me to come to Bellary to work at an industrial layout. I worked there, in the kitchen, for about 6 months.
Then another friend told me that there was a place I could work at in Mysore. So I went there, and worked there as a cashier for about one and a half years. After that, I worked at a club in Bangalore for two years, as a Captain. Post that, I worked in some fine-dining restaurants in Koramangala.
I remember one funny incident from those days. In one of those restaurants, we would give finger bowls before they started their meal, to represent Indian culture. And I remember one family which had placed an order for soup and starters by that time. In that group, there was a grandpa who thought the finger bowl was soup and started to drink it. We all laughed a lot. It was very funny. After working that side, I came to Jeevan Bhima Nagar, and finally Toit.
… a grandpa who thought the finger bowl was soup and started to drink it
Anything funny like that ever happened here at Toit?
Yes! One day, there was a guest who said she wanted some mocktails. I was handling that table, and I remember quite a huge crowd was there that day. So it was a very hectic day. She said she wanted something without sugar. And then I told her that all our mocktails were juice based so they would contain some sugar. She said ok, and then asked for Ginger Ale. But Ginger Ale also contains sugar, since it is a packaged drink. Then she asked me to give her me something that doesn’t contain sugar— I suggested she have a Virgin Mojito, because I could avoid the sugar in that.
She thought for a very long time, almost fifteen minutes, and by this time people from other tables also started gesturing me. Then she changed her mind again and she said she wanted Fresh Lime Soda. Before I could write that down, she changed it and said get me Coffee. But Coffee also has a bit of sugar. So, after all that, she finally said she would order later. All my time, almost twenty minutes, went on her order only!
So, how do you handle situations like that?
At that time, you need to be very patient. You need to enjoy what you are doing, while dealing with the customers. We are working here for them only, and we have to handle things in a cool manner. We shouldn’t panic or get irritated. I don’t get irritated while serving customers because it is because of them that we are here. I believe that.
When you’re not working, what do you do on your off day?
My off-day is on Monday. I wake up late on that day, I go out with my wife to watch movies or we go shopping. Then we come back home and cook-up something special. I used to cook, because I worked in the kitchen before, and I love to cook! I prepare something new for my wife whenever I cook.
You need to enjoy what you are doing, while dealing with the customers
What’s your favourite thing to cook? And what is your wife’s favourite dish from what you cook?
My favourite thing to cook is either beef or pork. And her favourite dish is the chicken lollipop that I make, toasted with garlic sauce. Otherwise she likes momos also. On off days I also drink a little, call all my friends and we just enjoy ourselves.
What are your favourites at Toit?
Beer- The Toit Tint-In-Wit is my favourite here because it is very smooth.
Food- The Steak here is very nice, and very filling too!
If you had not been working in Toit, what do you think you would have been doing?
Actually, I am a sports guy. I have thought about making a career in sports, but in the hospitality industry, there is no time to do that. If I had not been working at Toit, I would have been working in the sports field.
I play football in my free time. Sometimes local matches are organised and I go participate. That’s also why I like working at Toit. From the time customers enter, we will be moving around, and we walk a lot. So it’s like walking many kilometres and we are always active. I like it when things are busy. I don’t like sitting in one place and working.
…(in Darjeeling) the river water is better than mineral water.
What do you miss about Darjeeling?
Well, compared to Darjeeling the weather here is similar. But I still miss the water and weather of that place. There, you can drink water straight from the river. It’s better than mineral water! And the weather is always chilled and nice. But I am very thankful for where I am now, and I really like working here and learning new things. There are always a lot of opportunities to learn here. So I’m grateful for that.