Fast-casual Indian restaurant owner shares obstacles of staffing shortages from pandemic

Anesh Bodasing had a vision of establishing a fast-casual Indian restaurant for more than a decade. And his dreams turned into reality in October of 2019 when he opened Tiffin Box on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach. While he was excited to get his small business up and running, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown him multiple obstacles along the way to this day. “The well is dry, to be honest with you. It’s hard to find a business right now who is not looking for staff. The amount of ‘now hiring’ signs out there in storefronts– it’s crazy,” Anesh Bodasing, the owner of Tiffin Box, told WPBF 25 News.In 2021, Bodasing decided to expand the restaurant by bringing it to the Delray Beach Market. He said he was the first vendor to sign on, and opened the store in April of last year. While he had hoped to keep both businesses open, that unfortunately was not the case.”I put a sign on the door that literally covered the entire door, explaining this is temporary. business. We are definitely reopening,” Bodasing said. “Temporarily stop services here at the West Palm store and shuffle all the staff over to the Delray location.”Therefore, the location in West Palm Beach was closed for about five weeks. “Unfortunately due to staffing, which is a struggle for everyone now, I was unable to keep both stores open. So I had to make a decision on which store to close, so we decided on the Delray Beach Market,” Bodasing said. “I definitely lost a big momentum– we did the store, we had to adjust the hours somewhat. But we were able to get it open reopen, but it has been a struggle to gain back that momentum.” Bodassing said when he was preparing to open Tiffin Box in West Palm Beach more than two years ago, he had no issues hiring nearly 20 staff members. But today, he said, that was a different story.He said his goal is to hire at least two more employees in the near future. Bodasing told WPBF 25 News he is also coming up with innovative ideas to keep customers, old and new, coming to his store. He said he’s working on a meal plan program where customers can order a minimum of five meals at a time by 5 pm Wednesday, and have them pick up the bag of meals on Friday. They would then be able to eat these fresh meals or freeze them by the following Thursday.”My will to make this work is what overcomes all everything,” Bodasing said.

Anesh Bodasing had a vision of establishing a fast-casual Indian restaurant for more than a decade.

And his dreams turned into reality in October of 2019 when he opened Tiffin Box on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach.

While he was excited to get his small business up and running, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown him multiple obstacles along the way to this day.

“The well is dry, to be honest with you. It’s hard to find a business right now who is not looking for staff. The amount of ‘now hiring’ signs out there in storefronts– it’s crazy,” Anesh Bodasing, the owner of Tiffin Box, told WPBF 25 News.

In 2021, Bodasing decided to expand the restaurant by bringing it to the Delray Beach Market. He said he was the first vendor to sign on, and opened the store in April of last year. While he had hoped to keep both businesses open, that unfortunately was not the case.

“I put a sign on the door that literally covered the entire door, explaining this is temporary. It’s due to the labor shortage. We are not going out of business. We are definitely reopening,” Bodasing said. “Temporarily stop services here at the West Palm store and shuffle all the staff over to the Delray location.”

Therefore, the location in West Palm Beach was closed for about five weeks.

“Unfortunately due to staffing, which is a struggle for everyone now, I was unable to keep both stores open. So I had to make a decision on which store to close, so we decided on the Delray Beach Market,” Bodasing said. “I definitely lost a big momentum– we did the store, we had to adjust the hours somewhat. But we were able to get it open reopen, but it has been a struggle to gain back that momentum.”

Bodassing said when he was preparing to open Tiffin Box in West Palm Beach more than two years ago, he had no issues hiring nearly 20 staff members. But today, he said, that was a different story.

He said his goal is to hire at least two more employees in the near future. Bodasing told WPBF 25 News he is also coming up with innovative ideas to keep customers, old and new, coming to his store.

He said he’s working on a meal plan program where customers can order a minimum of five meals at a time by 5 pm Wednesday, and have them pick up the bag of meals on Friday. They would then be able to eat these fresh meals or freeze them by the following Thursday.

“My will to make this work is what overcomes all everything,” Bodasing said.

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