PETALING JAYA (Jan 14): ‘For every meal purchase, get a potted plant for free.’
This is a uniqueness offered by a restaurant in Damansara Perdana here, not only to attract more customers but also to promote a culture of green environment.
The community project carried out by a Facebook group called Plant Swag (Swap/Gift) at the Deaf in Business (DIB) Restaurant which kicked off last month enabled customers to bring home various types of plants such as aloe vera, golden pothos, and spider plant as adopted plants with purchases exceeding RM10.
Founder of the Facebook group, Evangeline Lim, said the idea came when there was a surplus of plants in members’ homes during the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) which began in March 2020 as they were unable to carry out their plant swap activities and outreach programmes.
“At that time, we had to avoid face-to-face meetings in order to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) and as a result, we cannot continue planting new trees as the gardening space on the balcony was full.
“Also, many small traders were also badly affected by Covid-19. From there, I get the idea of helping their businesses through a collaboration that would enable customers to get free plants as a gift,” she told Bernama.
According to Lim, the community project undertaken by the group that has more than 4,000 active members since 2018, among others, aims to instil a love for plants and the environment and in turn, encourage home gardening activities among the community.
The marketing consultant hoped the initiative could create an ecosystem that encourages the community to help each other, adding that she would love to collaborate with more parties, including small traders in the future.
“For collaboration, the premises must have parking space to make it easier for members to send the plants, have access to sunlight and the business offers goods for sale at an affordable price,” said Lim who started collaborating with another cafe in June 2020 before joining hands with DIB Restaurant in December last year.
A customer, Siti Noraini Tujudin, 33, said the initiative did not only foster and develops her interest in gardening activities but had also become a social platform to share interests and make new friends.
“Here we can exchange plants with other gardeners, thus increasing the interest and excitement to see the plants grow,” she said.
Social media quality assurance executive Nursyahida Izzati Mohd Nuri, 27, said she was interested in visiting the restaurant to support green initiatives and sustainable living practices.
“As we move towards a green environment, I am trying to get involved and contribute by participating in this programme,” she said and suggested that the organiser conduct vigorous promotions on social media.
Meanwhile, DIB Restaurant owner Allen Teh said the collaboration with the group not only increase its business revenue but also the attractiveness of the restaurant which is 90 per cent run by hearing-impaired workers.
“Like other traders, we are also affected by Covid-19 but since the collaboration, our revenue has doubled and the number of visitors of weekends has also tripled,” he said, adding that it was estimated about 100 plants were being adopted every day. — Bernama