Home-grown Café Isan launches kindness campaign

Rupkatha Bhowmick

Home-grown, award-winning Thai street food restaurant, Café Isan, has launched its kindness campaign, encouraging people to reach out and perform random acts of kindness, at the time of social distancing.

“Self-isolation is troubling for our collective mental health. While we are serving our food from the heart, cooked with love, we want to encourage everyone to commit a daily act of kindness on another human or animal. Let’s turn the lingo of the coronavirus on its head and create a new pandemic – kindness, says Lisa Knight, partner and co-owner, Café Isan.

While people are feeling lonely and isolated, worried, fighting boredom and facing employment and financial issues, Café Isan believes it is a prime duty to take care of one another in any way we can – sharing meals or masks, sharing jokes or gloves. Letting front line workers know how much we appreciate their efforts or helping an animal in need.

Please tell us about some of Café Isan’s acts of kindness.

Knight: Because we trust our customers, we are asking them to nominate people who could really do with a complimentary meal. That aside, we are handing out meals to essential workers like cleaners who are doing a terrific job, but are in low pay brackets. We will also start selecting nearby hospitals randomly and send surprise food parcels. We are also randomly calling customers to offer complimentary meals. Add to these, our free immunity-boosting ginger, lime and mint tea kits that we are giving away with every food delivery order. And, to raise smiles, we are posting jokes and fun stuff as well as our chef’s new recipe videos through our digital platforms.

How is the café encouraging customers to donate food for those in need?

Knight: At the moment, we are absorbing all the costs. We have not asked our customers to donate. As a small business, in order to absorb the cost, our Chef New and I have decided to sacrifice salaries and profits.

What kind of partnerships is Café Isan building with other home-grown businesses to collectively stay afloat?

Knight: We are currently looking into a range of ideas from sharing riders, even kitchen spaces.