How to Grow your Business with a Sloppy Lonely Planet entry.

He is a man who is making a killing because of a sloppy Lonely Planet entry. Ram Kishen who had a small makeshift dhaba `Garib Hotel' happened to host a particularly hungry Lonely Planet writer who wrote in rather glowing terms about an `Omtette Shop' where he lunched one day. Ram Kishen quickly christened his shop as `Omelet shop' and stopped making anything but omelets. Today he boasts of cracking over 1000 eggs a day for curious bag-backers and Lonely Planet clutching foreigner. The locals however wonder what all the fuss is about because Ram Kishen's omlettes don't taste any different than what they cook at home. However seeing his success some dhabas have started calling themselves `Omlette shop' too. (sanjay austa sanjayausta@gmail.)

Laughing all the way to the Bank


If you want to make a killing like this man in the picture, all you need is one sloppy Lonely Planet writer. The immensely popular travel guide prides itself in employing  ‘credible and unbiased writers’. But every once in a while  these travel-weary journos slip up .  Ram Kishen ( The man in the picture above) is a man who is making a killing because of one such writerly error of judgement. He had a  small makeshift  stall near the Ghanta Ghar in Jodhpur . He called it appropriately the ‘Garib Hotel’  and he  would often get shunted around  by the local cops and the Jodhpur Municipal Cooperation. But one day a particularly hungry and perhaps groggy Lonely Planet writer had an omelette at his stall and changed his life.  The writer wrote in rather glowing terms about the ‘Masala Cheese Omelette’ he had at Ram Kishen’s stall. He called the stall the ‘Omelette shop’.  Ram Kishen quickly christened his shop as ‘Omelette shop’ and stopped making anything but omelets.

Today Ram Kishen boasts of cracking over 2000 eggs a day for curious bag-backers and Lonely Planet clutching foreigners.  The locals however wonder whats  all the fuss  because Ram Kishen’s omlettes -with cheese or without- don’t taste any different from what their wives  cook at home. However seeing his success some dhabas have started calling themselves ‘Omlette shop’ to confuse the tourists. But Ram Kishen is no pushover. Heh added another sign  to up the ante. His shop now reads ‘Omelette Shop- Highly recommended by Lonely Planet’.

Ram Kichen says he cracks more than 1000 eggs each day to make the omelets for his clients (sanjay austa sanjayausta@gmail.)

Ram Kishen knows exactly how to flip and egg for the cameras

The Indian media sprung a story around this Lonely Planet entry and thronged the erstwhile ‘Garib Hotel’ to interview Ram Kishen. How could they not agree with the hallowed opinion of the Lonely Planet? So they also wrote glowingly about the ‘delicious’  omelets. At first baffled by the attention but now wallowing in it,  Ram Kishen knows exactly how to flip the Omlette in mid-air for the photographers. I found Ram Kishen via the Lonely Planet too. I ordered the omelette and when I saw it prepared, I did not even want to try it. I instead offered it to a beggar nearby who polished it off with some bread. I asked him about the omelette and  he said, ” I don’t know why everyone offers me these Omelets here.  But yes I wont have to worry about lunch today”.

(There are many such stories of careless entries in high-brow books and guidebooks. Watch this space for more)

13 Responses to “How to Grow your Business with a Sloppy Lonely Planet entry.”

  1. Ramit Batra says:

    Haha..
    Interesting story Sanjay 🙂
    A true case of what media hype can do to ones business!
    You have documented the facts real good.

  2. Surbhi Sahni says:

    Hi Sanjay,
    Ran into this article and being in the hospitality industry feel that it runs so true to how I feel. Media hypes chefs and concepts without truly measuring the value of the product or person, something we encounter in Us all the time. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.
    Loved your photographs,
    Surbhi

  3. Udit says:

    Quite disagree with u on the taste bit of it.

  4. Nimeran says:

    Great writeup! I love the themes you choose!

  5. Elena Lukovenko says:

    Haha yeah that’s how Lonely Planet works…it writes some places up and though they might be worse than other places around they begin to prosper,rise their rates and lower their quality…That’s why seasoned travellers usually shun ‘Lonely Planet Recommended’ signboards:) It’s a useful guide though but you have to take everything with a pinch of salt…Btw can’t blame the guy for liking the omelette – Indian roadside omelettes are usually better than those I eat at five-stars while travelling for work

  6. Nimeran Singh says:

    I remember going to this hot dog vendor in Sydney- supposedly a legend. Highly recommended by Lonely Planet- they were not the best hot dogs I’ve ever eaten- BY FAR.

  7. Khush Hal S Lagdhiyan says:

    Nice and informative, we all need to learn from this man.

  8. Alok says:

    I can’t say much about stories and travelling. But, the taste that uncle offers is awesome.I go to him daily in winters obviously…this is my home town….:-)

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