From dishwasher to franchisee: A Surrey success story

Now that’s a career trajectory!

Jagdish Basran got a job as a dishwasher at a Ricky’s restaurant on Scott Road in 1977 after immigrating here from India

Forty years later, she’s the franchisee at the Ricky’s All Day Grill at Evergreen Mall in Fleetwood.

Basran came to Canada at age 23, got married, and lived in Surrey for a while before buying a house with her husband in North Delta.

Getting started was hard, she said, recalling having to walk many blocks to and from work each day. ’“Really hard, we had no car.”

When she’d get to work, she hit the ground running, so to speak.

“I learned everything,“ she said. “Nobody teach me anything, in kitchen, cooking. Nobody.”

One night, she said, the cook fell sick so her boss asked her to fill in.

“I said OK, I’m doing the cook — you give me first on the schedule next week, you give me a cooking shift.”

Her boss said OK, and gave her a five-day cooking tryout.

“Then after that day I started cook, then after that whole life cooking, cooking, cooking, cooking, that’s that.”

Basran, who lives in Surrey now, was recently honoured at a chain-wide Ricky’s franchisee meeting in Vancouver with a plaque recognizing her 40-year career with the restaurant chain. She became franchisee of the Fleetwood restaurant eight years ago for $600,000. “I take a house loan,” she said of her investment.

She oversees a staff of 35.

So what’s harder, being a dishwasher or operating a restaurant?

“Jobs, everything is hard. Dishwashing hard, managing hard, serving hard, cooking hard,” she said. She advises people who are looking for work to be responsible. “If they’re not responsible, blah blah blah, then go home, that’s not hard.”

She’s very much hands-on.

“Six days I’m cooking, only one day off, Friday. Six days I’m working in the kitchen.”

Her favourite thing to cook? “Mostly breakfast.”

And her favorite part of operating a restaurant? “I like everything.”

Tracey Austin, manager of the Ricky’s restaurant, says “Jag has very high standards for herself. “When she talks about when she’s cooking breakfast, when she does those eggs sunny side up, they’re going to be perfect, and if she can’t make them perfect, she’s not going to sell them. And she expects that from her staff. And that’s her work ethic — do your best.”


Just Posted

Arson charge laid in Surrey Hockey Shop fire

The blaze destroyed the prominent business in Surrey City Centre

Surrey’s Khanvict set to perform at Junos-related Let’s Hear It! LIVE fest

Two-day outdoor event in Vancouver held in advance of awards show, at Rogers Arena on March 25

Historic farm time travels to 1900

Demonstrations to show life in Surrey

Cloverdale’s Bambi Hall weighs in on women in the world of wrestling

Local wrestler is seeing more women get involved in the traditionally male sport

Choices Lottery home located in White Rock

The 3,672 square-foot, three-level home, located at 1502 Bishop Road, has ocean views.

VIDEO: Surrey girls donate hair, give hope through Wigs for Kids

Emotional event at Coyote Creek Elementary saw 10 girls donate locks to those with cancer

‘A perfect storm’: Gas prices could hit $1.60 by April, expert says

Prices will shoot up to 155.7 cents a litre by end of week or early next week

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Sanford helps Bears win 16th CIS title

Cole Sanford has an assist in final as Alberta beats St. Francis Xavier 4-2 for national title

5 to start your day

Kinder Morgan protests heat up, a horse rescued from a muddy field and more

Georgia Viaduct to shut down for the JUNOs red carpet

Awards take place March 25 at Rogers Arena

Most Read