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!
Meet our very shy, but equally stubborn Commis 1 Bikis, who decided to stop studying to work towards a better life for his family.
How long have you been working in Toit?
I am opening staff. I joined in 2011, in March.
Are you from Bangalore?
I’m from Nepal. I came to Bangalore in 2010.
You came here to work?
Yes! I came here to work. My first job was working in a Pizzeria in Koramangala. I had a friend who came to Toit, and he also called me here.
When I came here, I didn’t know anything. I was a fresher. I came here when I was small and grew up here itself.
How old are you?
I am 23 years old.
So you joined here when you were 19.
Did you join Toit in the kitchen?
Yes. I started working in the kitchen itself.
I started off as a fresher, I used to just help with everything because I didn’t know anything at that time.
Whatever the boys used to say, I did that. Afterwards, learnt some things and got promoted to Commis 3. Then I did some good work and got promoted to Commis 2. Later, they promoted me to Commis 1, which is what I am now.
There’s lots of work and responsibility—have to take responsibility of many sections and if anything goes wrong, then it is on me.
Do you have a team?
I have three boys in my team. I used to work in all sections—pasta, fryer, salad. Now I’m managing the grill.
Is this the first time you’re leading a team?
Yes! This is the first time. I’ve been doing it since I got promoted to Commis 1.
What’s it like? Do you enjoy it?
Yes. Very much. I knew that I could do this, and I told the Chef and the Management that I can do this, and they gave me the responsibility.
What is your work day like?
I get up at 10:00 am in the morning, and freshen up. I come here for duty by 11 am. I live nearby.
As soon as I get here, I check everything and see what is there and not there in each section. Then I delegate some duties, I tell the boys what all needs to be done.
The morning shift, there is no other senior at that time, it is only me and the Chef comes a little later. So I need to make sure everything is there.
Then I head to my section and start work. At 3:00 pm I take a break, and then come back at 6:30 pm and continue working in my section.
I finish work by 11:30 pm on weekdays, and 1:00 am on weekends.
When is your off day?
And what do you do on an off day?
Same, I wake up at 10:00 am. Then I freshen up, cook food for myself, and then go out.
Sometimes I go watch movies, and sometimes I go play football. I don’t stay indoors during my off-day. I have a vehicle, so I roam around here and there on it.
Do you have something you like doing in your free time?
Actually, I really like football. That’s why even on my off days I go play football. I go play in these grounds nearby, with a few of my friends. I’m usually the centre forward.
I also love watching football on TV. I watch it a lot.
Do you have a favourite team?
Actually, my favourite team is Nepal’s team.
And do you have a favourite player?
Yes. Rohit Chhetri.
Do you follow international football?
No. I don’t watch all that. I only follow local football.
So, back to Toit—five years here now, you must have learnt a lot.
Yes! I’ve learnt so much here. I’ve grown up here!
I didn’t know anything when I first came here from my village, but I came here and picked everything up.
All the previous chefs John, Ramesh, and now Chef Sameer, have taught me a lot.
What’s your favourite thing to make here?
My favourite is—I really like the Seafood Marinara.
How is it working here?
It’s really nice here, that’s why I’m not even going anywhere else.
The management is very good here, and they help out a lot. Whenever we have any troubles, we can go talk to them. Even the team and Chef are really nice. That’s why I like working here a lot.
Is there anything you don’t like about your job?
I’m not too fond of prep. You have to work alone, so it gets very lonely without anyone and you have to keep working, and plating.
I like it when there are people and when it’s all busy.
It’s been six years since you’ve come here from Nepal—what is the big difference?
There is a lot of difference. There is nothing much there, only villages. You don’t have these kind of big restaurants there.
Most people go abroad from there, and I chose to come to India. My family is there. I came here when I was really young.
Actually, I was studying and I told my parents I wanted to come here to Bangalore. They didn’t allow me so I ran away from home and came here.
So they didn’t know? Have you gone home since?
They didn’t. But I have gone home 3-4 times after that.
What did they say when you went back for the first time after running away?
They didn’t know where I was, I mean, I had called them after reaching here.
I left my studies and came here.
Actually, I never had any interest in studies. I knew that I wanted to work. I just wanted to come work here in Bangalore.
I had never been to India before that. I had a friend who was coming here, so I decided to come along with him.
Do you miss Nepal?
Yes, I do miss my village because that is where I was born and that is where I grew up. I do feel like going there, but what to do? There is nothing to do there, I need to stay here and earn money.
Now I’m married also, and I have a child. My child is one year old, Abhi. And my wife’s name is Anushka. I visit them once every year.
I want to bring them here, but my child is still very small. Once he is a little older, I will bring them here.
Is everything fine back home now? Are they ok with you moving?
Yes. Everything is fine.
Actually, we were very poor people. We didn’t have too much. And I’m the only son. I didn’t want to study, and I also saw that there were a lot of expenses. So I decided I would work, earn some money, and take care of my parents.
What I have been able to do for them after joining Toit, I would not have been able to if I had joined another stream. The salary has been good from the time I joined, and now I have made a home in Nepal. That is why I am very grateful to this place, because they have helped me reach so far in my life.
Everyone is happy.