Macy’s, a popular haunt among the youth in Mumbai, is distributing excess and leftover food to orphanages and NGOs as part of its no wastage policy and people first initiative using a social platform, Buddyinterest. The free app allows users to network connect and share with people having similar interests; in this case restaurants, NGOs and orphanages. To be socially responsible you must leverage a meaningful social platform.
The restaurant owner, Mike Kasim, tells me he has been distributing excess food for the past 2 months and has more than 8 orphanages in his network. Kasim says that to maintain quality he has ‘everyday fresh’ food policy. So he does not keep leftovers in the refrigerator to be served to customers the next day. He also has a direct link to Buddyinterest from his website to make his social contributions more visible. His social initiative supports his every day fresh policy because customers can see where the excess food goes to. This attracts a lot of customers not just because of his social responsibility but also because customers know that Macy’s only serves them fresh food every day. “We knew it would be a hit among our customers, but never imagined that it would be this popular, this is truly a visible and meaningful social impact on society” said Kasim. The restaurant also tweets its contributions and posts pictures on Facebook and Buddyinterest. Some of the popular tweets are “Leftovers @ the eod r given to orphanages. Our customers are socially responsible by simply eating at our restaurant. Our way to say Thank U.,” the restaurant tweeted.
Another tweet says “Love and food are meant for sharing and not for wasting”. Kasim has also displayed a board with interesting pictures of children enjoying his restaurant cooked meals with the caption “Hunger never saw bad bread- Benjamin Franklin”
Kasim said that the restaurant decided to use Buddyinterest because it could make a direct impact in the lives of thousands of children with very little effort to network and communicate and allowed him to focus more on expanding his restaurant business. “What I want to know is which orphanage requires how much food and by when,” Kasim said. Social media highlights social initiatives effectively and this enhances brand strategy for organisations. A search in Google pulls up our menu list displayed on our website and also our social initiatives which are made visible through Buddyinterest.
“There are over 20000 restaurants in Mumbai, and most are selling pretty similar products,” Kasim said. “The only thing that’s really different is our attitude to people, planet and profits” It is of utmost importance for us to avoid wastage and yet serve these children with nutritious and hygienic food.
According to a report in Hindustan Times close to 2 million children are orphans in west zone, India; with Mumbai having a significant number of orphanages and charity homes for these children. Also TOI had reported that more than 200,000 children go hungry in Mumbai every day. Even in developed country such as UK pubs, restaurants, take-aways and hotels generate 600,000 tonnes of food waste according to The Guardian. There is so much of food wastage because there is no connect between the surplus and the needy.
“We have 3 restaurants in Mumbai and we have decided to do our bit for the children living in orphanages. We use Buddyinterest to send notification to these orphanages about the availability of excess food and the exact quantity available; sometimes the orphanage themselves proactively communicates with us online. We feel good that we could do our bit for our society. It’s not a big help but we certainly drive home the point to our customers that we are socially responsible and no leftovers are used for the next day as a policy. Before Buddyinterest we had to make many phone calls to know if any orphanage needs some food and precious time was lost in getting the food to children in a hygienic and fresh manner fit for consumption. Now it is so simple we are all networked and whoever wants help would tell us through Buddyinterest. Our customers are very appreciative of our approach and we in turn are able to attract new customers and retain existing customers.”
Contributing to orphanages is not a drain on your resources but an effective customer acquisition strategy when effectively implemented using Buddyinterest. Given the high inflation, Kasim was surprised that his month on month profit has increased since he had started using Buddyinterest to make social contributions.
The traditional method of calling orphanages, wastes time for both parties and delays the supply of food to the hungry children. With Buddyinterest either party can initiate contact. This ensures that there is no time delay and food is healthy and hygienic for consumption. We post images of children in orphanages eating hygienic and tasty food on Facebook and on Buddyinterest on a regular basis; to reiterate the point that it’s not a onetime activity but that we do it on a regular basis to show our commitment to CSR.
Our customers have given us awesome ratings and recommendations on Zomato and Burrp for our food and our social initiatives. Zomato helps us with great reviews, Facebook is perfect for sharing new dishes in our menu, and Buddyinterest is useful for making a meaningful social impact on people planet and profits.
India has plenty of non profits such as Oxfam India, World Vision India etc and many missionary institutions that are doing a splendid job in helping homeless children with food and education. Also many organisations are actively involved in CSR activities. However the non profits and companies work in silos that leads to a mismatch in supply and demand, which is detrimental to society. Buddyinterest aims to bring non profits and corporate houses on one single platform to help these poor children. Using Buddyinterest as an effective social marketing tool for non profits and a visible CSR tool for organisations will pave the way for effective impact on people, planet and profits says Johnson Charles Ancil, Head of Strategy and Marketing at Buddyinterest. Zee news had reported that the number of Indians living in extreme poverty has come down to 22 per cent from 37 per cent in the last decade. Yet over 200,000 children go to bed hungry every day in Mumbai.
It’s important to be innovative, to be different from the competition and create value for customers and society without losing focus on profitability. Buddyinterest helps restaurants do all of the above. To be socially responsible businesses must leverage a social platform. Mike Kasim hopes that more restaurants would start campaigns to stop food wastage and help millions of poor children the world over.
Source: TOI, The Guardian, Zee news, Hindustan Times
C . Jacob
C . Jacob