Business Spotlight: Monki Bistro

Business Spotlight: Monki Bistro

Monki Bistro is not just a place to get the best brunch or dinner you've ever tasted. It's an experience that uses good food, great community, and an eclectic place to gather as it's vehicle.

"Its all about Monki business!" teases Aditya Dutta, the company's chief ideas officer. "We take traditional cuisines and put our Monki twist to it. We take a traditional bistro concept and make it edgy through Monki service and wicked music. When you walk through our door, you might feel like you are in a trendy chic bistro, but the next second, you might feel cozy and rustic."

Aditya credits treating the team the same way they treat the customers; placing a huge emphasis on food, service and ambience; and challenging the status quo of the food and beverage industry as drivers in the bistro's success.

Management prides itself on continuous learning for each team member and isn't afraid to own up when they don't get it right.

"Initially, management used to ask for feedback from random team members on new ideas and general well-being," Aditya admits. "This was the ask-based approach on feedback collection, which resulted in missed opportunities to learn from the team. Today all members of our team, regardless of their level, are obliged to give weekly feedback to our managers on their performance and any service improvement ideas. This feedback is used in evaluations for manager performance every two weeks."

Their style of getting feedback has changed, but one thing remains the same from day one.

"We would never change our emphasis on continuous improvement in every aspect of our business. It can get challenging thinking like that every day but eventually helps the team perform better and better."

And just because it's food service, doesn't mean learning opportunities are limited.

"To build a strong like-minded team, we focus on providing individual career training and development in line with the common goal of the business," says Aditya firmly. "This culture of togetherness enables us to quickly adapt ourselves to the dynamic social culture, which heavily focuses on efficiency and productivity in all facets of our lives."

In addition to appreciating their customers and suppliers, Monki's management is quick to heap high praise on the team. "We are an awesome bunch with an extreme focus on innovation and leadership!"

It is that innovation that keeps Monki moving forward, even in an economy that sees less discretionary spending.

Aditya explains, "The key here is that we plan in advance and wholeheartedly support the decisions of fellow Albertans. During tough economic times, people support only the businesses they truly love. Our Monkis (customers) love us. Since the start of the recession three years ago, we have almost doubled our customer base. Eventually our challenge became to keep up with the demand. The poor economic situation resulted in closed businesses and a greater talent pool, which helped us in recruitment of awesome team members!"

"Calgary is an amazing international city," Aditya continues. "It's very distinct from other cities in terms of its future potential. Calgarians love to support their local businesses and see them grow. Everything in this city is about growth; we love that. Calgary has an innate ability to attract successful concepts from across the world and adapt it to the local scene. This inspires us to offer unique yet authentic cuisines to our Monkis."

One of the ways Monki Bistro expresses its thanks for its success is to give back as much as possible.

"We give back to the community through direct and indirect outreach programs. Our direct outreach program involves participating in local school events, supporting local artists by showcasing their work on our premises and helping local businesses by buying their products and services. We ourselves are Calgarians after all! Our indirect outreach program is through well-managed local charity firms like Meals on Wheels, Alberta Cancer Foundation, and The Last Straw Calgary (Plastic-Free YYC)."

Monki is excited to keep adding trendy new menu items and is currently scouting for a new location in Calgary.

Get your appetite ready for all Monki has to offer by following on Instagram (@monkibistro), emailing at [email protected], or visiting them online at Monki invites your feedback, saying "If you have crazy ideas, share them with us!"

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