KATHMANDU, May 15: Bajeko Sekuwa - the eatery chain famous for sekuwa (skewered barbecued meat) - is soon opening 20 outlets across the country.
Jambudeep Banquet that owns Bajeko Sekuwa plans to open 3-4 restaurants in the capital and around 15-16 restaurants outside the capital. It presently runs 5 restaurants and a banquet in the capital.
“We will be open one more banquet in Kathmandu and restaurants in Jawalakhel, Kalimati or Kalanki and Maharajgunj within a year. We might also open in Bhaktapur,” Chetan Bhandari, chairman of Jambudeep Banquets, said.
Outside the capital, Jambudeep Banquet is planning to open outlets in Pokhara, Kakarbhitta, Damak, Itahari, Dharan, Biratnagar and popular intersections along major highways.
“The new outlets will be smaller in size compared to the existing ones. We are planning to invest Rs 3 to Rs 4 million in each outlet,” added Bhandari.
Bajeko Sekuwa is one of the popular eateries in the town for sekuwa and other items as the taste of sekuwa here has not changed since its establishment 32 years ago.
According to Bhandari, his father Dinanath started Bajeko Sekuwa as a roadside eatery at Tribhuvan International Airport 32 years ago. Recalling the past days, he said customers used to address Dinanath as Baje (grandfather), which later on became the brand name of the eatery.
Dinanath still marinates meat for sekuwa using his secret recipe. The marinated meat is then distributed to all Bajeko Sekuwa outlets.
Today, Bajeko Sekuwa offers more than 100 varieties of food, including sekuwa. Food items at the eatery start from Rs 60 for a bowl of bone soup to Rs 400 per plate for prawn sekuwa.
“Even though we haven´t advertised our through media, we serve about 700 to 1,000 people per day. The word of mouth publicity is helping us grow,” said Bhandari. He, however, added the traffic police´s clamp down on drink-driving has affected their business.
“Our business has gone down by 40 percent. Like in other countries, the government must set a certain limit for drinking,” said Bhandari.
Bajeko Sekuwa will soon start selling frozen ready to cook marinated sekuwa from its restaurants. The frozen sekuwa will also be available in all leading department stores. Jumbo Banquets also plans to open a hotel in Kathmandu in the near future.