Alpha Catering promises memorable meals
Paolo Coelho’s ground-breaking novel The Alchemist talks about how, when someone truly wants something, the universe conspires to make it happen, even if the journey to get there is a roundabout one. Muhammed Asif Khan, CEO of Alpha Catering, experienced the truth of this idea in his own life. “My life goal of becoming an entrepreneur took root when I was a teenager, like 11-12 years old,” he said at an interview with Future Startup. Dhaka hadn’t yet experienced the startup boom, so his teachers were naturally confounded by this ambition, and tried to convince him to consider more stable careers. He talks about how his father, despite being a businessman himself, wanted Asif to enroll at BUET. A combination of factors led him into IBA instead, and it changed his life.
After dabbling with content creation by starting BuzzDHK during his final year at university, Asif finally turned his attention to the catering business and there he has remained since. Along with his partner Sayem Faruk, he founded Alpha Catering, which aims to take the catering business in Bangladesh out of what he refers to as the ‘1950’s mindset’ and bring it to the 21st century. Combining food tech with the traditional elements of service, Alpha Catering promises a 360⁰ solution to event management, providing consulting services, an eclectic menu to choose from, trained chefs, professional servers, decoration facilities, and event photography.
As ambitious as this undertaking is, it comes with its challenges. Akib Hasan Shovon, the Marketing Executive from Alpha Catering sheds some light on issues they have to contend with, which include, but aren’t limited to finding reliable vendors for stage decoration, lighting, cutlery, etc, and ensuring that these vendors maintain quality, deadline, and professionalism; traffic, payment delays, and rampant poaching of skilled employees. The company, however, takes all these obstacles in stride and promises to provide the best experience for their clients.
Offering a mouth-watering selection of deshi, Indian, Thai, Chinese and Continental cuisines, including snack and beverage options for lighter events, the menus are meticulously selected by the company’s Head Chef, who brings to the table his lengthy experience of working in the F&B sector, and has completed the Kitchen Management Training Course in Metropolitan Hotel UAE, the Johnson Diverse certification, and the IHG certification. All the ingredients are carefully sourced, including meat from Bengal Meat, fish from Blue Ocean Enterprise, spices from reputed brands, and all the greens are hand picked from Karwan Bazaar and Kochukhet Market to ensure freshness and quality.
What sets Alpha Catering apart is their recruitment standards for staff members. “We are the only caterer in this country who has hired incredibly talented individuals from top universities like AIBA, NSU, IUB, BUP etc as part of our management. Such team members have given us the biggest advantage in making a quick impact in the catering market. Our chef team is also very experienced and highly curated,” Shovon tells us. Alpha Catering’s retinue of professional servers are trained on the job and in house, and the more promising members are slated for enrollment at the Regency Hospitality Training Institute.
“The largest event we catered was the wedding of the daughter of the Managing Director of Square Group. It was an extremely extravagant event for 800 people and the total revenue we generated was Tk50 lacs. We needed to mobilize a team of 300 staff ourselves to pull it off,” Shovon says, of the company’s capacity, and adds that they will cater to any order with a minimum value of Tk5000.
The application of technology has afforded Alpha Catering with an efficiency that is still rare in this sector. Food waste is minimal because of its data-driven production system. “Each day, we are able to forecast the exact quantity of ingredients we need for the next day’s orders, and we cook accordingly, result in very little waste. Whatever remains is consumed by our internal staff,” Shovon assures us. “For excess food at the client’s end, for small parties, the client keeps the food for home consumption. For bigger orders, we offer to donate the food to certain orphanages we have in our contact list, which are situated in Mirpur and Banani.”
For more information, check out their Facebook page, or their website: www.alphacateringservices.com