Vegetarian Bengali Food festival backlash on Twitter

Oh!CalcuttaVegFestival

So, I saw an ad last week of Speciality’s Oh! Calcutta, Mumbai running on a vegetarian food festival. I had been to Oh! Calcutta in Shashtri Nagar, Andheri West a couple of years ago and had only tasted fish and rice. Nearby Hangla’s stall on Lokhandwala offered chicken biryani mixed with egg in a special style among other Bengali dishes. I was a trifle surprised with vegetarian Bengali food, because the term bordered oxymoronic. My mind still wondered – over recent years, there has been pro-vegetarian movement in West and even in India, so this move only felt proper to showcase vegetarian food and break the popular myth of Bengali food being primarily non-vegetarian. My food IQ is not particularly great, so I even thought that I might have been unaware about this side of Bengali cuisine. I did educate myself about vegetarian fares in Bengali cuisine – Aloo Poshto, Chorchori, Potoler Dorma, Dhokar Dalna.

As I started my commute towards work, this stayed in my head. I only wanted to figure out, if social media marketing engine of Speciality Restaurants were showcasing it over there in addition to print ad. In their investor conference call, the Speciality Group has mentioned food festivals being used to increase revenue (14% rise) despite discretionary spending of Indian consumer coming under pressure. I was in for a big surprise. Food connoisseurs of Mumbai were talking about it. Most of them, many Bengali were condemning such a promotion.

Sadly, there was no reaction from the official Twitter handle OHCALCUTTA1 of the restaurant. I did tag that handle in a tweet mentioning this scenario.

It would have been apt for them to engage with respected food bloggers and uber Twitter user, who could become their brand advocate on being educated about green aspect of the cuisine. I saw a really old, although quite apt tweet from that (either agency or digital customer service department. Neena and Bhavana from Speciality group are good at handling complaints as I found in blog posts and forums) regarding addressing a Twitter user’s bad experience, but then no activity since 1 Aug, 2012. Of course there were some enthusiasts mentioning about this in neutral fashion.

On Facebook, Oh!Calcutta did better in promoting this, as there were quite a good number of shares and likes. Although not responding to queries over there, like request for contest would make me give them minus points. The brand needs to engage and show the human side on its Facebook page.

Some other news bites about Oh! Calcutta in chronological order:

  1. ET reported on in the beginning of Feb 2013 that Oh! Calcutta along with Mainland China will house Italian and Mediterranean deli within their premises, called Mezzuna targeting 18-24 year olds, who “drink more and eat less”. As an aside, it also talks about the group tying up with Justdial for its logistics for home delivery.
  2. A Feb 25, 2013 news piece in ET talks about Oh! Calcutta’s parent company Speciality Restaurants is betting big on home deliveries for its fine dining restaurants including itself and Mainland China. It was reported that it will tie up with a local search service to provide backend-calling support for its delivery operations. If you put these 2 articles together it is clear that the company being talked about is Justdial. Nonetheless, we will mention that the Indian tech startup focussed blog TechCircle reported as an exclusive news piece on 8 March 2013 that the local search company being talked above to be IPO-bound Justdial. They have hired a logistics head and are outsourcing delivery backend. It does not mention if it is just backend-calling support or logistics including delivery boys. For former, Justdial makes perfect sense having established its name as a friendly call centre for providing business information. More on this in a separate blog post. Please note that Justdial has forayed into food ordering service with its restaurant listings earlier this year as I talked in an earlier blog post.
Advertisements

About prasoonk

Prasoon Kumar grew up in the Bokaro Steel City of south Bihar, now Jharkhand. He studied Computer Science and Engineering in IIT Kanpur. For job he moved to the land of opportunity, United States. He was there in the bay area through the internet revolution of mid to late nineties. He spent time admiring the beautiful coastline of California among other things. He moved east coast to the New York after the turn of the millennium working in a brokerage startup. Afterwards, he is back to India for good. He has been working in the enterprises and internet startup, enjoying the city life. He has a beautiful wife, a young 5 years old daughter and 11 years old son.

Posted on March 17, 2013, in Digital Media, Economy & Business, Facebook, mobile, outsourcing, Social Media, Twitter, Web, web 2.0 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Comments - bouquets, brickbats?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s