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Encouraging Empathy

  • Published at 04:21 pm April 28th, 2019
Encouraging Empathy_April 217, 2019_Pg 6 (1)
Photo: Courtesy

Diners Club’s initiative of feeding the ones who are unable to make ends meet

Diners Club is a restaurant based in Konapara, Demra, serving authentic Halal cuisines. This restaurant kicked off on April 12 with a unique operating method which is yet to penetrate the Bangladeshi market. They feed anyone who comes to their restaurant even if they have no means to pay. The tag-line -- “If you are hungry and really do not have any money, come inside, tell the manager and we will give you a set menu for free. We will feed the first 50 hungry poor persons for free every day, as long as Allah will give us the capacity to do so”, is portrayed on a banner at the entrance. According to the owners, they are getting a very positive response for the restaurant goers who took the initiative very positively. Alongside, they are also getting a positive response from the beneficiaries, who shy away to ask for free food. Usually, they call the street children in who look through the window or beg outside and give them a free meal. As it is very difficult to market among the non-fortunate ones, the management hopes the word of mouth will slowly bring more poor ones to the restaurant for a healthy meal.

Unfortunately, such generous deeds always attract negative attention and similarly, Diners Club is also getting negative comments from its surrounding saying that such method is being used to show off and attract customers. However, such remarks do not affect the restaurant in any manner and instead, they are encouraging others to do good deeds even if they are meant to show off. At least, people won't go to sleep hungry.

“We are simply restaurant business owners who wish to serve people with food, to both, the 'haves' and 'have-nots'. Profit is a logical conclusion of every business, but our primary value offering is 'to serve' like all other business wings of Shorobor.” - Management, Diners Club.

Their story

When the owners wanted to start a restaurant, their well-wishers suggested opening a ‘Bangla Hotel’ that would serve the mass with cheap meals as a restaurant serving Thai, Chinese, Continental, and Italian cuisine -- cuisines which are usually catered to the rich only. They had no prior experience in the restaurant business and besides, they did not only wish to serve the upper class of the society. This, altogether, led them towards planning to feed anyone who would come to their restaurant even if they could not afford the meal. To keep the project viable, the limit was set to 50 people every day. 

Diners Club is a project of Shorobor which pioneers in novel social business concepts in Bangladesh. There are other similar business ventures of Shorobor as well -- all in all -- it is a platform where one can buy and sell products, share his or her own expertise, work with the team on the field, and so on.

In the long-run, the management plans to open at least two more units of Diners Club in different parts of Dhaka and one in Chittagong. 

For more information, please visit www.dinersclubbd.com and www.shorobor.org.