Restaurants and bars give customers wielding vaccination certificates a warm welcome, with perks
At Sanchez in Bengaluru, the number of shot glasses lined up in front of you at the bar depends on your COVID-19 vaccination status. With their ‘Got a Shot, Get a Shot’ offer, the popular Mexican restaurant, run by the Embassy Group in Bengaluru, is encouraging customers to get vaccinated with free drinks: one if you got your first vaccine, and two if you have got both.
At Sriracha, a pan Asian restaurant run by the same group, vaccinated customers get mocktails or desserts if they show up with their vaccination certificate. (Here too, it is one treat per shot kind of deal.) Chef Vikas Seth, culinary director, Embassy Leisure, says the initiative which just begun on July 12 is their way of urging more people to get vaccinated.
Social, the cafe-bar-coworking space, is hosting similar discounts across its locations in Bengaluru, Delhi, Chandigarh and Indore. Though they have just launched the scheme, their offer of a free shot for those who have taken the first dose and two free drinks for those who have taken both, has already generated a buzz on social media. On Instagram, friends have been tagging each other, planning to qualify together for Social’s signature shot, ‘Dawa Daru’ on the house.
“It is imperative for everyone to get vaccinated as this is one of the only ways by which we can help stop the spread of COVID-19. The more people get vaccinated, the faster we will be able to beat this virus and go back to a normal life,” says Ranveer Sabhani, Business Head – South, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, which runs Social, Smoke House Deli, and other restaurants across the country. He adds that encouraging more customers to get vaccinated will make dining out better for everyone: “Once the spread of COVID-19 gets reduced considerably, restaurants and other businesses will also be able to function at regular hours with fewer restrictions.”
Offers extend past the drinks tab. The Indian Grill Room, Gurugram has been offering a 10 or 20% discount (depending on your vaccination status) on their a la carte menu from July 1, 2021. “We also provide the flexibility of separate bills if the guests are a mixed bunch, with people who have had one or both shots,” says Ariba Shah, marketing manager, The Indian Grill Room.
So far, most customers have availed the 10% discount as they are yet to get their second dose, she adds. “Most of our customers were between 25-45 years,” says Ariba, adding that diners are flashing their vaccination status on the Aarogya Setu app on their phones, to prove eligibility.
In an attempt to reach a wide audience, all these establishments launched these offers on social media first, with an array of hashtags ranging from the expected #CovidVaccination to Social’s #DawaPhirDaaru.
“We promoted our free goti soda offer on Instagram as a limited offer for a week and saw a really good response,” says Ojus Arora, owner of Delhi Belly in Mulund, Mumbai. He adds, “Business has been doing quite well and we saw most of our regular customers come in with their vaccination slips to avail of the offer. While the sodas for vaccinated customers has drawn an increased footfall, Ariba says they are now cautious about promoting it as the shadow of a third wave looms large.
For Ishita Reddy, an advertising professional in Bengaluru, the offer proved to be a fun excuse for an outing to her favourite Mexican restaurant. “I had gone with a group of friends — we all had had our first doses — and it did cause bit of a buzz at work and among friends. Offers like these are a great way to reward someone who has taken their shots and at the same time, encourage those who have not.”