Rolling Into Town: Binge Yard
Given their speedy rise to Manipal’s foodies’ list of places to be, Binge Yard is rolling straight into Revels’18, bringing with them a diverse palette of flavours and affordable, on-the-go snacks. In a town where creative ideas flit about every day, each buzzing seemingly louder than the other, we spoke to Shalini Pallikila, founder of Binge Yard, to find out what sets her start-up apart. With a background in Management Studies, Shalini knew the direction she was going in but took the giant leap into uncharted territories right after graduating from WGSHA last year.
How did you get around to establishing Binge Yard at such a young age?
While interning at Social, I was sure that I wanted to work towards building a more creative approach towards food. Experimentation and constant evolution of cuisine are what keeps things interesting. I knew I couldn’t work a monotonous job, so I decided to do something on my own. I wanted to start in Manipal because here you have students who come from all over the world. They are constantly looking for innovation and creativity.
Have you ever faced any legal issues? Is it okay for you to park anywhere?
Here in India specifically, there is no food truck license. Abroad, they have food truck licenses, so you can park it at a place where they have power supplies and all the amenities you need. You need a license from the FSSAI, and additionally need to follow the RTO regulations, both of which we do. But since the concept of a food truck is so new in India, no concrete rules exist. During the weekdays, we function at TAPMI. On weekends, we used to come to KC, but the guys around started having a bit of an issue. So we moved and parked right outside Big Boss.
What kind of audience do you usually host?
Our primary demographic is college students, obviously. We try to reach students from all over MU, constantly changing our menu to satisfy our customers. A lot of families stay around Big Boss, so they come and taste our food, too. We encounter the usual tipsy crowd, too, who especially love the food we serve.
The first fest that we did was the SOC fest, Article 19. The response to our food was great. We knew we wanted to be a part of more fests, so we are definitely coming to Revels. Personally, I think it’s going to the biggest one yet.
Are you scared that there might be a little competition between Square Ruth and Binge Yard?
I’m sure Square Ruth’s food is really good. I’ve heard great reviews about it. They’ve done more fests, and have 3-4 years of experience. Personally, I don’t see them as a threat. I’d like to learn from them. Since we have the flexibility of rolling around and exploring different crowds, I’d like to make the best of our situation.
As told to Deepali Sahu and Parthiva Mewawala.