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A Berkshire Mumpreneur // Chido Plunkett, DaChi

Chido Plunkett is the founder of DaChi’s Restaurant to You. During this Berkshire Mumpreneur interview we find out more about Chido Plunkett, her business and her top tips to others.

Photo Credit: Summer’s Photography
Tell me briefly about your business? 

DaChi’s Restaurant to You is a hassle free luxury dining experience based in Bracknell, Berkshire. We are a husband and wife team who are incredibly passionate not just about each other but about great hospitality, delicious food and drinks. We help people who enjoy entertaining in their home to stay a part of the conversation and not the preparation or dreaded clean up!

Photo Credit: Summer’s Photography
Tell me briefly about yourself and your family?

I live in Bracknell with my husband and children.  I am a mother to 3 little humans, stepdaughter Niamh who is 16 and ironically crazy about food. Oliver 5 and Hebson 2, who both keep us on our toes to say the least! I studied Hospitality Management in university and have worked for many prestigious hospitality providers, including The Dorchester, The Hilton, The Selfridge hotel and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels. Primarily working in Food & Beverage, Sales & Events Management. I have a strong passion for organisation, creativity, great hospitality and great food! I love people and I particularly love that food brings people together. So, starting DaChi’s Restaurant to You was a no-brainer, especially being married to a very talented Irish Chef who shares the same passions. 

When did you set up your business and why? 

On paper in 2014, after we got married but we only really pursued it at the end of 2018 after having our son Oliver in 2017. I didn’t want a life whereby my time and schedule was dictated by someone else. Especially having seen so many female colleagues, feeling conflicted in the workplace having to ask management to go and collect their sick children from school/nursery. And to top it off; feeling bad for having to ask, yet again! Come on children get sick all the time, surely everyone knows this? I knew straight away that life wasn’t for me. No parent should ever have to feel bad about showing up for their children. So, we thought then, this was as good a time as any to start DaChi’s Restaurant to You. Besides this, I knew running my own business just like my granddad, grandmother and dad would give me opportunities, to not only test my capabilities but to show my children what is possible and that having options is the best position to be in always!

What do you see as the benefits of being self-employed?

The flexibility to work with a schedule that suits your life. The flexibility to be as creative as you like. To be able to implement things faster and fix challenges as you see fit, without having to jump through ridiculous hoops; as you would in larger organisations. I have also had a lot of personal growth, which has been amazing; resilience in particular.  You go from just being responsible for your job (when working for someone else) to having to be accounts, marketing, sales, operations, customer service and HR all overnight! Though, I must say running your own business is rewarding but definitely not for the faint-hearted; there will be many ups and downs; but like anything in this life, it is possible, with dedication, discipline and passion.

What are your top tips to other parents considering setting up their own business?

1. Just do it! Your future self and children will thank you for it! You won’t know until you try. We always wait for the right time. But the truth is, there is never a right time. You will always find an excuse. What you have to remember is that every successful person out there, also started not knowing what they were doing! They just took one step at a time, before eventually looking back and realising how far they had come…just by taking that single step. Starting is the hardest part but after that the path become clearer. Remember no idea, is a bad idea, it’s just about being flexible in your approach whilst maintaining the goal.

2. Take all the help and support that you can get from family, friends and other business owners. Your business will take time to grow and your time that you would normally spend with your children will be lessened whilst you set up. So take advantage of those offering to take the kids for a few hours or a weekend. And equally take advantage of networking. Networking with other business owners not only provides support but can save you making very costly mistakes.

3.Identify a strong ‘Why’ right at the start. It will carry you through your journey and serve as a great motivator when times get tough. Better yet type it up or write it out, frame it and hang it in your working area. Think of it as your mission statement. It should also be enough to tackle the inevitable mum guilt.

Bonus: Lastly my favourite Chinese proverb “Fall down 9 times, get up 10!”

What’s next for your business? 

Well, wouldn’t you like to know?! We are working on a couple of new and exciting projects. One serves as continuing to provide a hassle free solution to our clients and promises to be a tasty treat that is more accessible and affordable for all.

And the other is about helping others to thrive by using our experience and expertise to support and drive their success. We are super excited about both and as they say, watch this space!

Photo Credit: Summer’s Photography
How do you manage to run your business and look after your family? 

Our working hours are between 10am-3pm, with a 1hr lunch break and we work on a rota basis. We have created systems that make sure we both have time for work, family and that neither of us feels like we are the only one who always doing certain tasks. Our system includes all of the major family life & work tasks. We broke it down into School run, Work, Cooking, Bath time, Dishes & Tidy up and Bedtime routine.

The school run schedule always remains the same and we rotate all other tasks each week. It allows for there to be a clear distinction of responsibility for both of us and it allows us to spend time with the children doing different things. It’s nice to know I can cook in peace knowing David is with the boys. I also particularly love it because it varies and allows me, my me time. I workout uninterrupted during the mornings school run and David practices his guitar when I’m on the afternoon school run. It’s a win win for everyone!

Finally, what are your top three things to do as a family in Berkshire? 

We love going out for family walks to Spencer’s Wood, Engelmere pond and Swinley Forest. Love a day out at Wellington Country Park and lastly kite flying and bike riding at Cabbage Hill.

If you would like to find out more about DaChi’s Restaurant to You do visit their website and follow on their Instagram and Facebook pages.

Click here to also read other Berkshire Mumpreneur blog post interviews.

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