Hookah catering – a new format of aromatic and smoky business
The audience of metropolitan hookah bars has grown several times over the past 3-4 years, but the pandemic and legislative restrictions have shaken the market so much that many establishments have left this business forever. Those entrepreneurs who did not want to give up without a fight continued to work in a new format. If earlier lovers to enjoy the fragrant smoke went to clubs and hookahs, now the masters of hookah art come to the client themselves. In Moscow, hookah catering is gaining more and more popularity.
We decided to learn more about the new format of the hookah business and talked to the founder and owner of the popular Teplo hookah catering in the capital, Andrey Sergeevich Ponizyaykin. Let us immediately emphasize that we do not support and in no way promote tobacco smoking. And, as it turned out during the conversation, our interlocutor also treats tobacco smoking with disdain. Andrey Sergeevich talked about how hookah catering works, why ordering hookahs to go is profitable and safe.
— Andrey Sergeevich, for starters, tell us when did you realize that it was worth developing hookah catering?
Don’t believe me. It all started in 2015. We had a network of hookah bars, and our clients often asked us to organize an outcall service. Someone had a corporate party in the office, someone had a birthday in the country, someone celebrated a holiday, etc. Then we did not even know the word “catering”, we just went to meet customers and cover their needs. Then it became clear that off-site hookah service could be developed as a separate area. As it turned out, they weren’t wrong. Now we have, perhaps, the largest park of professional hookahs in Moscow and an impressive staff of real hookahs.
— And who is the main consumer of your services today?
Our main client is young people, but the circle of our clients is not limited to this. We focus on working with corporate clients – companies and organizations of various profiles. Recently, corporate parties often take place within the offices of companies, and a hookah ceremony is a great addition to the holiday. We often order hookah catering for corporate parties, employee birthdays, professional holidays. We actively cooperate with organizers of events in Moscow and the Moscow region, we cater for weddings and anniversaries.
— What can you offer your clients?
We organize turnkey hookah ceremony. The client simply informs the place and time of the event, the number of participants and the taste preferences of the guests, we take care of the rest. The hookah attendant arrives at the appointed time and brings with him everything you need for a full-fledged hookah party – from professional hookahs and unique fruit mixes to electric stoves for lighting coal. Guests do not have to fuss around the hookah, our master will do everything at the highest level.
— How often do you order hookah catering for a wedding?
At least every weekend. And basically these are our regular customers who are familiar with our product and know that the smoke will be thick and very tasty. Hookahs are the decoration of any event.
How is the final cost of the service determined? Does it depend on the number of reloads?
No, we provide customers with full unlimited. The price is affected only by the number of guests, that is, the number of hookahs and attendants. The price is announced to the client immediately, it is final, we do not have any additional payments and other markups and never have. To find out the exact cost of a hookah for departure, just leave a request on the website hookah-catering.ru. We will make a calculation in 15 minutes and offer the best option.
– If a client orders a hookah for the first time and is not very versed in the tastes of tobacco, how can he not make the wrong choice?
It’s impossible to make a mistake. We bring with us a huge selection of tobaccos, as well as our author’s mixes for true gourmets. The fillings are stored in airtight disposable containers that are opened immediately before the hookah ceremony.
How hygienic and safe is everything?
You don’t even have to worry about it. The hookah itself and the entire set of equipment undergo a complete antiseptic treatment before being sent to the event. For these purposes, we have purchased the most modern sterilizers. We understand perfectly well how important it is to take precautions, so we approach this issue as responsibly as possible. Our masters are regularly tested for COVID-19. All our hookah workers are Russians with experience of 5 years or more. In our work we use safe disposable mouthpieces.