Khkula Ayub

PESHAWAR: Sizzzlers Restaurant, quite noticeable and different from other restaurants of Peshawar in many ways, is not only offering regular customer services including dinning, take-away, home delivery but also providing opportunities for enthusiasts to get technical education for becoming professional chefs and is a platform for those females who have potential, but lack support.

The most conspicuous feature of the restaurant is that it is owned and run by a female entrepreneur Chand Bibi. Women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who once were considered highly conservative with little exposure, are now breaking stereotypes by presenting their expertise in various fields. With dedication and hard work, they have proved that their presence cannot be neglected and they deserve equal opportunities like that of men.

Today we are having many such examples, and one of them is a multi-talented, very successful businesswoman Chand Bibi. Initiating and turning such a project into a success story by a woman in Peshawar was in itself a huge challenge which Chand Bibi overcame by strong will power, hard work and dedication.

When asked about the idea and commencement of the project, she said: “Being the first female who started a fine dining restaurant in 2014, her vision of the project was to have a new change introduced in the KP environment. I used to visit different restaurants for meetings and there was no specific space available for women where they could sit and do their official work in a peaceful and conducive environment. With my personal savings, I started my first restaurant as Dragon Moon, Chinese Cuisine but after two years I realised that customers prefer to have multiple choices and based on their needs and demands I decided to revamp my restaurant and in 2018 upgraded restaurant menu including Thai, Italian, fast-food, continental, Mexican and BBQ along with Chinese restaurant, thus changing the name to Sizzzlers.”

Chand Bibi mentioned that the project has been a tremendous success and now they are offering other facilities like separate hall for trainings and seminars. The restaurant is providing technical education as well by offering cooking classes to everyone thus enabling youth to become successful professional chefs and pursue this job as their career. In this regard, Chand added: “In early 2018, we were given summer classes by IM Sciences College for their students and later on we were shortlisted by the Government NAVTTC Prime Minister Youth Skill programme which is successfully running till date and is providing training in professional chef/cooking classes for 25 students. We have been promised to get another 100 female and 100 male students in next phase to be announced by the end of this year if we have the capacity to accommodate 200 students,” Chand Bibi said.

“Currently we are having machinery and arrangements to accommodate one batch at a time. Similarly, we have been shortlisted by Afghan Commissionerate for providing culinary trainings to their students for the year 2019,” she said.

Chand Bibi is doing a commendable job in uplifting talented women of the society and providing them equal opportunities. She is doing her best to provide a platform for women where they are made aware of their potential and are encouraged thus turning their ideas into reality.

For this purpose, she regularly organizes meetings. Sharing her views, she said: “Simultaneously we are running a group of 60 female entrepreneurs’ forum who regularly meet up at the restaurant for information sharing. These meetings are usually attended by Smeda, First Women Bank, Bank of Khyber for loans orientation, women chamber members, Social Welfare Department, Town Municipal Committee, Summit Bank, Alfalah Bank for loan-orientation under women entrepreneurship support. These meetings can be attended by any government or institution who wants to meet women entrepreneurs working at small and medium level and share their programs. Insurance companies like EFU and Jubilee regularly provide their services to these women and their businesses.

Similarly, banks have linked these women entrepreneurs to their products and are successfully getting benefits from them,” Chand Bibi said.

While asked about female representation of employees, TNN was informed that equal opportunity is provided regardless of gender but mostly the job nature of female employees is part-time as it is based on events organisation for which they get specific shares. Similarly, she added that currently 12 people are employed who work in shifts and among those is included a regular female employee working in the Sizzzler Restaurant as Event Manager.

Talking about the ideal location and secure environment of the restaurant, she said that it is a great facility for women to run their official setup in the friendly environment. She added: “We are situated at the heart of Hayatabad, we are being requested again and again by female professionals to provide them with working cabins where they can have a electric socket, high speed wi-fi and laptop facility. They are ready to be charged hourly for it along with food. But the said project is not finalised yet as talks are in process with Smeda for the grant of the project.”

When asked about future plans about her project, she said: “Our future vision is to have all these activities under one, multi-task roof. We are upgrading our restaurant project to have equipment and machinery enough to accommodate all of the three services i.e. dine in, take away and Home delivery thus having a complete family entertainment space.”