Author: Dan Baribeault, BSU student
The Chatta Box is a family-owned and run neighborhood restaurant that serves a multitude of authentic, high quality Southeast Asian dishes (specifically Thai, Japanese, Korean, and Malaysian) in the heart of Bridgewater. It has become a favorite of students attending Bridgewater State University, as well as local families in Bridgewater and the surrounding towns. The interior only seats about 50 people, but is always chalked full of customers on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, while staying busy on the other days of the week. They also offer take out and delivery, which constantly has a steady flow of orders, even at off hours.
The Chatta Box was opened in 2000, but Bridgewater resident David Rit purchased the place from a friend in 2005. This was the perfect line of business for Rit, as all of the food offered by The Chatta Box is food that he enjoys eating. Although he has always been more than willing to adjust ingredients and spice levels to customers taste, customers have become “more willing to try authentic tastes,” Rit said.
Getting a small business off the ground is often challenging, but Rit continued to push because he enjoyed making his customers happy and wanted to continue doing that. The main challenge that he had to overcome when starting was finding the right employees, as well as standing out from competition. In the years since Rit took over The Chatta Box, he has had many competitors pop up with similar styles of restaurant, which he has said is the toughest part about running his business in 2020. Rit makes The Chatta Box stand out from his competitors by making food with “high quality supplies even though profit is less, as long as the food comes out good,” according to Rit. The Chatta Box also prides themselves on their customer service, where they treat everyone like family. This has been a successful strategy since The Chatta Box has had a steady flow of business since opening, and Rit does not see that changing in the future.
Another thing that has contributed to The Chatta Box’s success is that Rit prides himself on being an active owner. When The Chatta Box is busy, Rit can be seen either helping in the kitchen cooking food, or helping at the register with taking orders and seating customers. By being involved at the ground level, he can ensure that the food and the customer service are up to his standard.
Although Rit believes that there are ways technology could play a bigger role in his business, there are some ways that it is already being utilized. Rit says that the number one way he has brought in new customers is through word of mouth, and in our age of social media and the internet, this is easier than ever. The Chatta Box can be found on Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and many more websites, and they are all full of positive reviews. Another way The Chatta Box has utilized technology is by using Bluetooth credit card readers with their delivery drivers. This saves the unnecessary time where the customer would have to read all their card information over the phone for pick-up or delivery orders. This may not seem like much, but when The Chatta Box is busy on weekend night, it can make it much easier to process more orders, and it also is easier for the customer.
Since opening in 2005, Rit has always cared about his customers. He has stuck to his word of providing high quality food made from high quality ingredients, while also providing a family-like atmosphere inside the restaurant. In doing this, he has created a loyal base of customers that always return for more, and I cannot see this changing anytime in the future.