Founders, from left to right Lalit Tak, Mayank Kumawat and Vishal Kumar Hinduja
"Time will take your money but money won’t buy you time"
Many of you might agree with this saying but The Tick Tock Café in Udaipur plans to change this. It wants to sell you time.
Crossing a bustling neighborhood, quietly nestled in a corner is a unique café where time is literally money. The age old adages of “Having a good time”, “Time is money”, “Spend your time wisely” etc. is true for Tick Tock café whose name represents the sound of a clock. This place is based on an all new concept of paying for the time spent rather than the food or services. While this concept is not new to India with one such café in Bengaluru, it is certainly a first for Udaipur. Owner Mr. Vishal Kumar Hinduja puts this concept very succinctly “We don’t pressurize customers to order food because we are getting our money from the time they spent here. It is basically customers renting the place on an hourly basis to finish whatever task they have”. This café was the brainchild of Mr. Kumar who while working in metros felt this acute need for a place where he could just work without the pressure of ordering food. He discussed this idea with his childhood friends Mr. Mayank Kumawat and Mr. Lalit Tak who soon came onboard to start Tick Tock café. Udaipur being the hometown of all three and a major tourist destination was a natural choice to start.
Talking about his café Mr. Hinduja says that “We sell communication rather than consumption”
As we entered the main door, we were greeted by a Bollywood song playing on a local radio station. After crossing two sets of daunting staircase, we found ourselves at the entrance of a café which is situated on a closed terrace. The six-month old café has a homey feeling about it and rightly so, since it is situated in a residential neighborhood. Its motto is that it sells time and not food and so for every hour you spent you are charged a nominal price of Rs 100 and Rs 50 for every additional half hour spent. The café is marketed as a place where one can have meaningful communication with one another or with the self. It is also designed to be a co-working space where professionals can come and complete their work or hold meetings. Customers are treated with free food which includes coffee and snacks such as sandwiches, salads, dips etc. The café has a sandwich bar where all the ingredients of creating a sandwich is present and customers can create their own sandwich. They can also pay a little extra and get additional toppings on their coffee or on their sandwiches. They also have a menu called a Time menu which has quite a few dishes to satisfy your taste buds. They serve drinks like Rose milk, which is a popular local drink and favored by its customers. Mr. Kumar marked that even though they didn’t open the café as a foodie paradise, their pasta is quite famous and therefore, keeping in mind the demand, they now provide customers the option to select the ingredients from which the pasta is prepared just for them. And since the café is not about food but time, customers can even bring their own food inside the café which is not allowed at other places. The café is however, not just limited to people who want to spend time there, it also runs like a normal café where people have the option to pay for the food and not the time. There is a separate menu for these customers. The rationale behind this is that the owners don’t want to thrust the time bound concept on their customers. Keeping true to the spirit of “Customer is the king”, they provide them with the option to pay according to the method they please. Apart from the food, they provide various other services to keep their customer engaged like free Wi-Fi, a selection of books and magazines, board games etc. They also provide facilities to organize meetings and workshops and have an open mic where one can enjoy a karaoke night.
Situated in a neighborhood where, cafes and restaurants have mushroomed rapidly in the past few years, Mr. Kumar feels that his café stands out from the competition. His customers love the concept and he has created quite a niche for himself. Though not a foodie’s paradise, the café is for people who want a place away from home to relax and work. Customers are not just limited to couples and professionals but also families and kids who find this a quiet and safe place to organize parties and a get together. With the popularity of the café increasing Mr. Kumar has plans to rent out a place in the midst of the city and also develop a franchise model where they convince other restaurants owner to convert their places into a time café for a few hours in the day. They also plan it to take to national level and with time being a precious commodity they might just as well be successful. The café started out as an experiment by three friends who wanted to return to their hometown and do something different. The experiment is certainly successful in a city which boasts of world class hotels and hundreds of small cafes which provide delectable food as well as beautiful lakesides where one can unwind. So in a city where food and time both are plentiful, selling time is really a bold move. The owners bet on time rather than food and it really looks like that time is on their side.
To know more about the place visit: https://www.venuezz.com/venues/the-tick-tock-cafe
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