Thrissur: The number of make-shift roadside eateries or thattukada seem to be going up in number in Thrissur. Before the year 2000, there were just 240 Thattukadas in the district, but now this has gone up to 1137. Around 237 among these do business in Thrissur town, according to the figures of the Economics & Statistics Department, Government of Kerala. While 23 stalls are put up by those from the neighbouring states, 64 are run by women.
With the passing of time, tea shops and small eating joints of the earlier times that used to be cheap eating options for Malayalees, slowly began to disappear. The bigger hotels have rate cards that are in no way affordable for the common man. This has made people fall back on the thattukada (way side eateries) when hunger pangs strike.
A source of income for 1658 families
Including the eatery owners and the workers, close to 1658 families thrive on the business of thattukadas. Almost 1407 out of this are owners of the business, and 251 constitute the helpers. In many such Thattukadas, the family members themselves double up as helping hands and only a few hire daily wage workers. A full-time helper can get paid Rs 376 per day, whereas a part-time worker earns Rs 331. Efficient workers can get a higher pay. 35 among these are workers from other States.
Excellent monthly incomes
As per the survey of the Statistics Department, the average monthly income from a thattukada business is almost Rs 19, 256. The profit could vary depending on the rush to the stalls and peak days. Another highlight is that, this is a business that could be started with minimal investment. Most of the income from such eateries have their fair share of bank loan liabilities. There are even owners that rent out their stalls or utensils to others for a daily rent that could range between Rs 300 to Rs 700.
Unlicensed Food Stalls
Out of the 1137 thattukadas, only 173 function with the required Food Safety Certificate or mandatory licensing. A majority of these shops use kerosene, logs, gas for cooking the food items.
The survey lists down three types of thattukadas based on the business timings. Most of it do brisk business during late evenings and night. Of the 237 in the Thrissur town, 13 shops operate only in the mornings, 119 function from morning till evening, 47 stalls are open from morning till night time, 7 function only in the evenings, 49 are open from evening till late night and 2 thattukadas are open 24 hours a day.
From 240 thattukadas in the year 2000, Thrissur has come a long with a staggering 1137 located in the year 2014.