Punjabi Santa

It’s 2010, the holiday season is over, and I’m glad!  Don’t get me wrong, I kind of like the holidays…. using up all my patience putting up lights on the tree, overeating, mandatory time with the family, missing folks back home and shopping (I hate shopping!). The highlights of this holiday season for me were:

  • Suresh’s joke about the ‘Punjabi Santa’ (like Santa, he has a beard, is tall and plump, and say Hoy Hoy Hoy)
  • Going to Winter Wonderland in Tilden Park in Berkeley with the kids
  • Dancing to Country, Salsa and Hip Hop at the Kasa Staff Holiday Party

But I couldn’t relax, as in the midst of all this, K2 (aka Kasa Marina) launched and Tim and Mer had their third baby (aka V3).  This should have been a time of only serious hard work for us, and whilst all of us at Kasa put that work in, it had to be so stop and start because of the holidays.  We literally had to force ourselves not to think or do any work on Xmas day and spend it with our families, and try to understand that the government and rest of the country were going slower because of the holidays.

So I’m glad that life is back to normality and we can just steam ahead with work now, as we have a lot more ahead of us.  The pressure is on high, not only because we have a bigger space and higher rent at K2.  We opened around December 19, and these first few weeks have been pretty steady but not that many people in the Marina know that we exist yet and we need customers flooding in.

Whilst it’s exhilarating and satisfying to have a successful restaurant or to get some wonderful press,  margins in our business are slim so we have to be super successful to make it all add up, and that pressure extends all the way through to our staff. Our staff need their hours maxed out (or else we lose them) to make rent, support families here and back home, put themselves through school or, like our Line Cook Extraordinaire Gomez who is about to have his first baby, just survive in SF. The emotional pressure of being successful is intense as our families, staff, vendors and on and on rely on us.  More customers means more hours for our staff, which means more tips (which is vital to their livelihood) and ultimately more raises.

So instead of waiting around for the Punjabi Santa to deliver a bushel of money, we’ve come up with our own Kasa Plan of Action:

  1. Continue to keep the food as excellent as humanly possible
  2. Continue to train our staff to provide warm, wonderful service, even if on occasion you have to deal with a not-so-pleasant customer
  3. Community outreach and education in the Marina — introduce ourselves and turn people on to delicious, homestyle Indian food
  4. Connect with all of our customers as much as possible…like through this blog 🙂

I’m confident that with a little more time and work, we will all reap the rewards of our hard work, all whilst consistently giving our endless love to Kasa Castro.  In the meanwhile, we thank you all for your continued support and hope that you’ll pass the word to your friends.

Love, Anamika

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