“I had nothing, so to speak. I started out by hawking samosas and chapatis using a hired trolley in this very town. Today I am glad I have my own hotel and two large trolleys,” narrates David Macharia, proprietor of the Master hotel.
Mcharia, now 52, says he first ventured into the hospitality industry way back in 2013.
Today, more than a decade down the line, many of his peers and clients in Nyeri know him by the nickname ‘Master’.
He says he was given the epithet by his loyal customers, in line with the sumptuous dishes he serves at the eatery, which to say the least rarely disappoints. It is from this nickname that he coined his hotel’s name; ‘Kwa Master’.
Macharia explained how his business has today grown from selling 30 Samosas and 20 chapatis, to a bustling inn complete with a dozen staff.
“I did not just wake-up and find myself where I am today. It is almost nine years now. I used to save a little money because I have always been a dreamer. When the business started growing, I purchased my own trolley and decided to expand my business,” he explains.
And as the days rolled on, his fortunes kept on rising enabling him to buy another trolley.
He also hired someone to manage the trolley through hawking snacks along the town’s busy streets.
Later on, after pooling a tidy amount of savings he decided to open a permanent premise where he could serve his customers under a roof.
The initiative paid off and within a few months Macharia finally started his own hotel.
On a single day he uses one bale of wheat flour to prepare chapatis and six packets of wheat flour for kebabs, an achievement he terms a rare feat especially during these harsh economic times.
He also sells at least ten packs of sausages, a favourite for his clients.
On average the business earns approximately Sh 3,000 as profit on a daily basis after footing all the expenses including paying all employees.
Macharia attributes this success to the way he treats and handles his clients and staff.
For him, just like India’s founding father, Mahatma Gadhi, the customer takes precedence in any business engagement.
Therefore, for any enterprise to thrive or tumble depends on how a proprietor treats those who call on him on a daily basis.
“Strictness and honesty have been my driving force since I ventured into this business. Everything we sell here must be fresh and up to standard. Any leftover is always disposed of. All the employees know that and anyone who may attempt to sell such meals inevitably loses his job,” he says.
Majority of those who serve at the hotel are the young people who are grateful for the opportunity of working here especially in the midst of joblessness in the country.
“The highest percentages of my employees comprise the youth since I know how hard it has become for one to secure a job in this country. Furthermore, most of my customers are young people and it would therefore be unfair not to offer a few of them an opportunity to work here,” he points out.
Being a husband and a father of two, Macharia is proud of his business since it has enabled him to fend for his children, pay school fees, and build a home for the family.
In the coming days, he hopes to save a substantial amount of money and buy a car for his family as well, if God wills.
By Samuel Maina and Kevin Wagura