Restaurant run entirely by trans staff so successful a second location is underway just months after opening
A restaurant in India completely run by trans staff that opened during the COVID-19 pandemic has become so successful that it is already opening a second location.
The Covai Trans Kitchen opened in the Coimbatore district when Sangeetha, president of the Transgender Association of Coimbatore, noticed the impact of the pandemic on the area’s already struggling trans community.
To help tackle joblessness due to COVID-19, a problem that has hit the trans community especially hard, the 32-seater restaurant has a fully trans staff.
Sangeetha told Indian Express: “Catering is our primary business. But due to Covid-19, many of the restaurants where our community members were working had been closed. They were jobless.
“So, we thought we should open a small kitchen that would beneficial to everyone.
“Through the Transgender Association of Coimbatore, ten of our members have joined here.
“The kitchen is run entirely by them right from preparing the food, to packaging and delivery.”
But, she said, finding a location to open the Covai Trans Kitchen was initially very difficult, as transphobic landlords did not want to rent them a space.
“Our restaurant is the first in the state that is run entirely run by the transgender community members,” Sangeetha said.
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“People were hesitant to provide us a space for rent, some of them told they are not sure how we are going to run a restaurant all by ourselves as it has not been done before.
“After a long struggle, with the help of a lawyer, we found a place in RS Puram.”
But as soon as it opened the restaurant was a hit, and a second location will hopefully follow in the next few months.
Sangeetha added: “Public and local media has been very kind to us. With their support, we are able to attract more customers.
“We have started receiving bulk orders, up to 15 kgs of biryani is sold on a daily basis.
“After six months, if the business continues to provide good profit, we are planning to open a second unit to provide more job opportunities to our community members.”