Monday, May 15, 2017

Second Anniversary of Cafe EkanteCake cutting today

At Cafe Ekante, Eco Park today

Weeklong Special Promotion

Today 15 May 2017 is the second anniversary of Cafe Ekante's main unit at Eco Island of Eco Park. Today we cut a cake with Cafe Ekante logo with few officers of NKDA and Hidco. We have launched a rather amusing offer for a week: whomsoever "likes" the new Facebook page on 16-19 May i.e. tomorrow Tuesday to Saturday, can get a 10% discount on basic food bill (before taxes) at the Eco Island restaurant of Cafe Ekante. One can just mention the name and the fact of "liking" would be verified by the staff by looking at the list of persons who are on the "like" list... Someone questioned whether other units of Cafe Ekante (e.g., one at New Town Business Club) would get it too: but no, the benefit would be available only at the base unit at the Eco Island.

Looking back, some highlights of the Cafe Ekante journey:
1. Hon'ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited it twice. Several more times at the lawns and glass house on the occasion of  BGBS (twice), visit of Chinese Vice President, and few other times where too Cafe Ekante team had a good supporting role to play. We are deeply grateful to the Hon'ble CM for constantly encouraging us and also for giving the name "Ekante".
2. Filmstars visited, for shooting or on invitation; TV serials have been shot on the lawns.
3. Online booking of cottages started. Swipe machines for cards and PayTM options were introduced from early days. Tie up with Zomato lasted for a year or so.
4. Wooden pedestrian bridge to connect the Eco Island with mainland was constructed before which the only way to reach it was by boat. Special separate jetty was built for bulk item ferry. Staff block with bunkers, lockers and showers were built near car park near wooden bridge.
5. Staff Training by IHM and Karmayogi took place.
6. To cater to increasing waiting visitors, the adjoining lawn was used to set up outdoor tables.
7. To cater to people waiting for the boat on main Eco Park, a counter was set up on a jetty near Gate number two.
8. The Kerala style Houseboat restaurant was opened.
9. Home delivery started in Sector 5, New Town and Chinar Park zones.
10. Dinner table reservation facility was introduced.
11. Sunset Boat ride, with snacks are served on a floating restaurant travelling for an hour, started.
12. Cuisine changed from Bangla, through Muglai fusion to Chinese / Continental
13. Special menus and events for special occasions (Poila Boisakh, Jamai Shashti, Bhai Phonta, Mothers' Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas, Durga Puja, World Cup Cricket finals and several more) were organised in tune with the popular sentiment. Barter tie ups with FM radio were done: free lunch to winners of a weeklong quiz on Eco Park, for instance.
14. Two counters at Nazrul Tirtha  were opened, one for ground floor hall, one for seccond hall on second floor.
15. One counter at Bus Stand in AA1 was opened.
16. The restaurant at MWM started functioning when the earlier franchisee stopped. It is earning decently too.
17. New Town Business Club restaurant is managed by Cafe Ekante.
18. Marriages of son/daughter of many dignitaries including Coal India Chairman, Justice A Roy etc took place on the lawns
19. Numerous guests have enjoyed staying in the cottages and doing conferences in Utsari Glass Hall.

All along, the Cafe Ekante Team led by Tirtha Sadhu, Sourav, Alok, Sujata, Arka, Dilip,  and so many others, ably led by GM (E) Suman Neogy, Habibur and his support team, were able to post an operating revenue surplus. Arup Ghosh, GM(E) took special interest in designing the beautiful counters at Nazrul Tirtha 1 and NT2. Gopal Poddar gave the interior concepts including photos and sital pati.

I thank Team Cafe Ekante for doing so well in such a short time. Yes we must improve further, we are constantly trying to listen to all feedbacks. But the journey so far has been absolutely sparkling to me. And I repeat, from the second month itself, it is running at an operating surplus, though modest, and thus contributing to Hidco's development projects.
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