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ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಿ - Krishna Shastry
ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಹಕ್ಕುಗಳು, ಶುದ್ಧ ಸಸ್ಯಾಹಾರ, ಪರಿಸರ, ಆರೋಗ್ಯ ಇವೆಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ವೀಗನಿಸಂ ಎಂಬ ತತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿ ನಂಬಿಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿರುವ ಒಬ್ಬ ಸರಳ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ ನಾನು.
ನನ್ನ ಇತರ ಆಸಕ್ತಿಗಳೆಂದರೆ ನೀತಿಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ನೀತಿಸಂಹಿತೆಗಳು, ಸಾರ್ವಜನಿಕ ಆರೋಗ್ಯ, ಆವಿಷ್ಕಾರಗಳು, ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ, ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾಷಾನೀತಿಗಳು ಇತ್ಯಾದಿ.

I am a simple Kannadiga following veganism, that cares about animal rights, pure vegetarianism, environment and health.
My other interest include ethics, public healthcare, public policies, innovation, science & technology, Kannada language and linguistic policies.
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Challenges of running an ethical business

Running ethical business is always very tricky and challenging, it is hard to understand unless you run one. What will fetch admiration/respect and positively influence people, and what will turn off people - it is not easy to decide or implement. Here is a small example.

Here is what happened at Carrots yesterday:

At 2 pm

Customer: Hello, I would like to book a table for 10 people at 8pm tonight.

Carrots: Sure, kindly let us know your name, contact number and we will reserve the tables for you.



At 8pm

Customer shows up with the group of people; they had a cake box with them

Customer: We want to cut this cake after the meal, could you kindly keep it in fridge till then?

Carrots: Sorry, we don't allow outside food in our restaurant, and it applies to cakes as well. We ourselves make cakes, you could have told us earlier and we would have made a nice cake for you!

Customer: Sorry, we didn't know you make cakes, plus my kid wanted this particular cake itself specially. This time we already got it, next time we will remember it, please make an exception

Carrots: Sir, we understand, we don't want to be just talking rules, lets see what we can do. You do understand that this is a vegan place right? Is your cake vegan i.e. without any animal products? If yes, we can make an exception and allow it this time.

Customer: Yes, this is pure veg, no egg also.

Carrots: That’s alright, but is there dairy in it?

Customer (confused and surprised): Yeah, so what? This is pure veg.

Carrots: Sorry Sir, bringing dairy here is like bringing chicken inside a vegetarian restaurant outside. We say strictly no-no to all animal ingredients and stick to only plant based ingredients, so dairy is a no for us.

Customer: Oh, I didn't know all this, I thought this is a regular vegetarian place.

Carrots: This is of course vegetarian place, but we are strict vegetarians, that's all. We have adopted this principle to be as cruelty free as possible. This is a popular concept in western world and now increasingly becoming popular in India also.

Customer: Hmm, what do we do now? We heard a lot about you and planned this visit, but we don't want to leave the cake out as well.

Carrots: We are really sorry for your inconvenience, but we are simply unable to allow this cake to be cut in here. We can however check at the kitchen if they can make another cake quickly for you by the time you finish your dinner. We cannot guarantee but we will try our best. And usually we don't do this, but as a special case we can keep your cake box in the fridge and you can take it back while leaving.

Customer (disappointed): Its okay, we will come some other time. Now we will go and find some other place. But I wish you could be little more flexible here you know, after all equating us with non-vegetarians doesn’t sound very right and we were just asking for a one-time exception.

Finally, the entire group left. I am sure they would have felt annoyed because in the last minute they had to search and book another place, take their vehicles and again search for parking and what not. Many of them probably thought "Why did they make it such a big deal?". Carrots also lost good business of 10 people, simply because we refused to compromise, but more importantly we felt sad that customers had to face such kind of inconvenience and lost a chance to taste good healthy vegan food.

And this is not the first time it happened, and cake is not the only area where such tricky situations have come up.

Closing this for now, with many open ended questions in mind... Would be curious to know what you think about this (I am expecting many diverse viewpoints for sure!)

Also Read: Practice what you preach


Praveen Herbivore said...

I can very well understand what kind of tough situation you would have been facing. Any ways hats off to you for not giving up your values.

Sonali Raval said...

I think it will be helpful if you explain the concept of veganism and any specific restaurant rules you have when accepting bookings. This is important because your restaurant is different and many people may not understand the nuances of veganism. Saves trouble to you as well as the customer.

k v rangan said...

A firm but right decision!!

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