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Roti Kappada aur Makaan and the blue collar worker of the hospitality industry

Roti, Kappada aur Makaan translates to Food, Clothing and Shelter a Hindi phrase which means the basic necessities of life. These necessities influence the decision of where a person chooses to work.


In the world of the unregulated and unorganized hospitality industry which mostly consist of small restaurants and eateries by the road side it is basically these necessities that attract talent. In our interactions with staff who work in this sector these are the highlights that we have stumbled upon


  1. Preference is given to restaurants and hotels that are established and have more operational experience. There is a perception that you are more likely to get paid at the end of the month if you work in restaurants that have been around for a while.

  2. Staff Accommodation is a big deal, if a place offers cleaner or better accommodation chances are that this place will attract more job inquiries

  3. Staff Food, everyone desires good nutritious food and places that are more liberal with their staff menu gets more preference.

The above list might seem like a no brainer after all they are the basic necessities but the reason why it is highlighted here is because we have learnt that in general and in this sector there is a lot of exploitation. There is no regularization so there is no guarantee when you will get your next pay check. With the current rate of unemployment and opportunities there is a large number of people waiting to get a job and this disincentives the entrepreneur to care about his staff's wellbeing. He is aware that a profile can be very easily replaced by freshers who want to break in to this industry. The job requirement is not highly skilled and there is confidence that a person can be trained to be semi skilled in a short while. On the other hand from the employees point of view he gets a foothold in a industry that provides him with 2 straight meals, accommodation and the possibility to earn through tips and gratitude, it is this cycle that plagues this industry. There is huge potential to regularize this sector that employees millions.


Turning around this sector will have far reaching consequences and the possibility to up level the tourism experience. It has been done in other countries and India needs to train, formalize and grow. The waiter serving you the next meal has the potential to earn well and provide a great experience to you and all the guests hence forth. We have to create a win win situation for all stakeholders


Koshhish is our endeavor to understand more about the people behind the hospitality industry, the challenges they face and their aspirations. This monthly blog is an effort to understand more about our own industry and to tell the stories of the people that are unseen and unheard.

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