Akshara Gaonkar Operations Manager – Mums Kitchen, Goa
Akshara is a very ambitious, hardworking and a person with great will power and patience. Coming from a very conservative family, initially a very shy, quiet person has grown into an outgoing and confident personality. She balances her family and work front only due to the constant support and encouragement from her family members and the owner, Mr. Rony Martins. Akshara, a microbiologist by qualification, but now the operations manager of Mum’s Kitchen, believes that designation is just a name. But the actual fact is how one gets involved in the different aspects of the business. It is important to put your heart and soul in your work process. She visited Mum’s Kitchen as a Food safety team leader for ISO Certification but gradually took over as the manager .She got an opportunity to learn different aspects of each department in the organisation. With the support and co-operation from the owners and her family, she is now the operations manager, looking after the entire setup of the business.
Her advice to youngsters joining this profession is to have a lot of patience. She feels that the youth, at the beginning of their career do not know exactly what they want. And today the youth posses less patience, want easy work and quick money. You have to roll your sleeves up and keep working to deliver what is required to satisfy the guests. It is the need of the hour to come forward and do a little extra to deliver satisfaction to the guests.
She feels that there is a new challenge everyday which she encounters .She says that, this is because she belongs to a different field altogether, but with the passage of time and exposure in the different departments, she has successfully transformed from one line of work to another. And each challenge is different. Everything right from manpower, situations, customers to even transforming herself to what she is today is her biggest challenge.
Though she feels she failed on different fronts in the hospitality industry, she is also supported by the owners .She is able to survive in this industry, only due to the backing of the owner who is her mentor .She feels blessed to have such people who extend their whole hearted cooperation in all her endeavours .She is never treated as an employee and hence she has survived in this industry. Her biggest failure according to her is not expecting anything for herself as she felt she is lacking something in today’s fast moving world.
Her next higher goal is to establish themselves in the global market with the coordination and association of the team. They have a vision to bring forth the Goan Cuisine worldwide.
On being asked about hygiene, she says it is a very complicated word and knows much better than anyone as she herself is a microbiologist. She feels personal hygiene is very important as there is a possibility of spreading illness to others.
She constantly interacts with many guests to get their feedback and know about their requirements and feels that it is extremely important to maintain the consistency in taste, service or any other related issue. The staff is always advised to work in this direction to provide the best service and deliver everything consistently to the customers as defined.
Customer’s first preference is food and they visit Mum’s Kitchen as they are loyal to the brand. Customers are disappointed if they are not served with their preferred food. Replying to the rating of the restaurant with regards to food, ambience and services, she rates food at eight, ambience at eight and service at around six. She states that this rating is as per the guest’s preference. She feels that the guests are a bit disappointed with regards to service as errors crop up somehow in spite of taking every care.
She reveals that the owners and the staff are working hand in hand on different aspects to create a worthy experience for the guests. There are limitations as there is a mixed crowd and it becomes difficult to satisfy each category of the guest at the same time in the same manner. She quotes an example like music is preferred by youngsters and family members but if there is a guest having a business meeting it can become a barrier in their discussion. Adjusting to each type of client and extending that type of gesture is still what we are working on. So they have deputed a special person who interacts with the guests and finds out about their preferences, likes dislikes, feedback, changes to be made and so on, which assists them to enhance customer satisfaction.
She believes that “Commitment is the foundation of great accomplishments.”