Former Algonquin College hotel and restaurant management student Sushen Kakkar is now the owner of Ottawa’s first milkshake bar.
“When I came to Canada, I think I always wanted to open a restaurant,” said Kakkar, who was originally looking to open a regular bar but decided to try something he hadn’t seen in Ottawa. For God Shakes is located downtown on Dalhousie Street and is the first milkshake bar in the city.
What Sushen Kakkar learned during his time in the hotel and restaurant program helped guide him throughout the planning process for opening his restaurant. After graduating from the program, he was able to apply his marketing and business knowledge.
“I learned how to take things step by step,” Kakkar said.
Despite the idea that milkshakes are more likely to be a summer favourite, the restaurant’s opening in October 2022 was a success, and sales throughout the winter were great.
“There’s nothing like this in Ottawa. Everybody was excited, and we’ve had a really good response,” explained Kakkar.
The Algonquin program taught Kakkar aspects of a successful business, and he still falls back on the information while running his restaurant.
“Algonquin is doing amazing. The program is practical and really helpful,” said Kakkar.
The For God Shakes website says, “We serve 100 per cent flavourful milkshakes made with 100 per cent pure love and originality.” With over 10 flavours, the diverse menu also offers lactose-free and vegan options.
With the anticipation of tourism, For God Shakes is already preparing for the summertime. Twenty new milkshakes were recently added to the menu. For God Shakes will be open from 1 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends.
The dessert menu has a delicious variety of cheesecakes, gluten-free strawberry champagne cake and vegan carrot cake, along with the popular pancake towers that come in three different flavours.
Kakkar explained how teamwork is important when running a restaurant; he always leads his team instead of giving orders. He said this is something he will always remember from the hotel and restaurant management program.
Opening and running a business comes with an elaborate planning process. Kakkar described the importance of background research that must be done before even investing in a property. “You have to be calm and patient,” he said.