Dimapur | June 26
On a sunny afternoon in Dimapur, Café BaE was filled with young people sipping chilled iced tea while a group of children played around fascinated by the unique eco-friendly decors.
Among the many cafes in the town, Café BaE at Duncan Bosti is one of the preferred destinations to hang out by people of all age groups. The bustling café, in an average, registers about 40-45 customers per day.
The busy and active customers are certain evidence that people have started warming up to the idea of dining in cafés, restaurants, and not just on special occasions but also on any normal day.
Café culture globally is growing at a very fast rate and Dimapur is steadily catching up with the rest of the world in this aspect. The town has seen aggressive expansion of cafés in the recent years. “After the opening of my café, there has been several other cafés that opened up, it’s nice to know that people are thinking of cafés as good places to hangout,” said L. Talikumla Aier, owner of Café BaE.
Evolving customer lifestyle has contributed to the rise in number of cafés in Dimapur. Customers’ trends are gradually moving from the fine dine to a more casual dining culture. “They (customers) not only visit the cafés for food but also to take pictures,” stated 30-year-old Tohoshe Ayemi, owner of Café Gossip located at Tajen Ao road.
With greater access to internet and almost more than half of the population being active users of various social media platforms, people are not only aware of the trends but also adapting to them. Owners of cafés and restaurants like Café BaE, Café Gossip, Bangkok Cuisine and many more, all agreed that social media platforms directly affected/affects the number of customers they receive.
“We’ve already had people coming from Delhi visit our restaurant particularly after they came across pictures of our restaurant on social media,” said Helena Chakhesang, manager of Bangkok Cuisine at 5th Mile.
On the other hand, the café managing business is attracting quite a number of young adults and a few have already joined the job market
Aged only 21, Talikumla, owner of Café BaE said she would highly encourage people interested in the job market to join. “It’s going better than I expected,” she said, adding “If at all, young Nagas are interested in restaurant managing business, there needs to be dedication and a lot of hard work. It’s not as simple as it seems, you need to invest energy and a lot of your time in it.” Helena concurred that restaurant management is a good business.
However, there were also some who said the business is in demand but challenging at the same time as the population of the town is less and they are uncertain about when they might receive their customers.
Restaurant management is an emerging field and private sector jobs are bound to grow in the future. It is evident that young graduates are more inclined towards private jobs as interest in private equity has increased. “I plan on expanding my business by opening up more cafés/restaurants providing customers with probably local dishes,” Tohoshe added.
When asked about the stability of their income, the managers and owners commented that the business was good and also stable. “I have not been into loss and it’s going good,” said Talikumla.
The writer is currently an intern at The Morung Express