The Bota कथा (Story) : Where Traditional Taste Meets a Modern Twist

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The Bota कथा (Story) : Where Traditional Taste Meets a Modern Twist

If you are in Kathmandu, walk ten minutes in any direction from wherever you are right now and you will probably come across a place that sells momos. If rice is the staple Nepali meal, mo:mo is the ultimate Nepali snack. Any new eatery looking to cement its place in this industry, as such, will have a mountain to climb before it can win Nepali hearts. Yet, despite the stiff competition, Bota mo:mo with three restaurant outlets within a year of operation seems to be doing exactly that.

Finding Bota momo

Niven Amatya, the founder of Bota grew up eating momo like every other person in Kathmandu. After returning to Kathmandu having completed his degree in International Business from London, Amatya wished to enter the food business. He made his first step in the business of satisfying hunger with Berry and Dairy café, a yoghurt café at Maharajgunj. Berry and Dairy served a great range of food items and an even greater range of yoghurt dishes.

During this time, he discovered a repeating trend in the orders; be it a young teenager, an office worker, or an elderly citizen, most customers ordered momos. Realising the mo:mo phenomenon in Kathmandu, Amatya got the confidence to start another venture. He envisioned a restaurant that would serve the highest quality mo:mo in the fastest possible time; Bota mo:mo is that vision turned real.

Bota mo:mo did not materialise right after its conception in Amatya’s head. Instead, he took the careful approach of assessing all the problems he could face. After experimenting with his mo:mo dishes at Berry and Dairy café, he collected enough information and feedback to finalise his recipes. Further, he figured out that a central kitchen was a must for him to achieve his envisioned mo:mo chain.


The Bota project

While most chain restaurants think about a central kitchen only after significant growth, Amatya made it a priority. He started N.P. Kitchen Pvt. Ltd to provide food for all outlets of Bota Momo and Berry and Dairy, as well. After finding and furnishing a place at Kumaripati, Amatya launched the first Bota outlet from there on 20th May 2016. Fliers, posters, and announcements on social media platforms were all building up to the grand opening. Bota Momo was delighted with the sheer volume of customers who showed up that day. The number of customers was so overwhelming that their stock for a couple of days had to be replenished in half a day.

Eventually Amatya was ready to move to phase two of his plans- expansion. After careful research, Bota mo:mo set up outlets at Anamnagar and Kamal Pokhari. The approach to set outlets at these prime locations of Kathmandu was also accelerated by the demand of customers who lived at a distance from Kumaripati.

Atithi Dewa Bhawa

Bota mo:mo takes a meticulous approach to ensuring that their customers receive the best customer service and top-quality food. Besides prioritising delicious food and fast service at affordable prices, customer satisfaction is another critical principle of Bota mo:mo. Satisfying the customers is taught to the employees from the time they are recruited. Behaving politely and patiently, being helpful, and ensuring there is nothing uncomfortable is hard-wired into Bota employees.

Great food and happy customers are not the only priorities of Bota mo:mo. They want to lead by example in areas that are usually ignored in Nepal- corporate social responsibility and employee satisfaction.


A restaurant with a conscience

Bota mo:mo contributes towards the well-being of the society with their environment-friendly approach in serving momos. Having been influenced by the Newari Culture, Amatya decided to serve food at Bota in traditional Newari bowls made out of leaves called bota. He believed the traditional “silverware” that the Newars use for their snacks would be perfect for his restaurant. However, the purpose of using botas does not end there. Botas are biodegradable bowls which not only make for an easier disposal, but also save water used for cleaning dishes. Moreover, it also has the added benefit of promoting local businesses that make botas.

Amatya is not only responsible towards the well-being of society but also of his employees. He considers customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction of the same stature. He makes sure he is creating a business environment where both his customers and employees are treated with the respect and care that they deserve. Bota mo:mo provides different facilities to their employees to ensure they are comfortable and happy working there. With proper training from the start and with the ample opportunities provided, Bota mo:mo has a very low employee turnover. In fact, they still have the first batch of employees working from the first Bota mo:mo outlet.


And then the future

For the coming years, Bota mo:mo has plans for further expansion and diversification. Even though their food menu already consists of a variety of momo’s, sauces, and traditional Newari dishes, they intend to keep experimenting in order to develop newer recipes. While a plan for a restaurant in Jhochhen is already underway, they also hope to open outlets outside of Kathmandu, in places such as Bhaktapur, Dharan, Pokhara, and Biratnagar. In the long run, they plan on opening restaurant outlets even outside of Nepal.





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