Friday 20 July 2012

Curry in the community

Thanks to a friend from Yorkshire having been working in Dudley this week and staying in a hotel in Oldbury, I ventured to a new restaurant called Little Bangla. Despite having lived about 2 miles away for 11 years, I'd never been to Langley High Street, but a good reviews on Trip Advisor suggested that Little Bangla was worth a visit. I was intrigued when I looked at the restaurant website to see a page called Working with the Community

As we walked in the door we were greeted with warm handshakes and a friendly welcome by the owner, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of tables full, given it was a rainy Monday evening.

Little Bangla owner Zak
The food and service were great, enhanced for me by conversation with the owner, Zak. I asked him about the work he does with schools, which includes giving cooking lessons. He also works with local councillors, supporting the Mayor's charities. He is of the view that while he still needs ensure the restaurant is a going concern, there is much that businesses can do to support communities, both nearby and overseas. He hopes that if other businesses see him making connections in the community that they might follow suit.

Zak has been surprised at how useful social media has been for his business - he proudly informed us about how swiftly they have generated friends on the restaurant Facebook page and he is starting to use twitter more (@littlebangla1). The restaurant gives Facebook friends offers, and apparently around 90% of customers are regulars, there being little passing trade along Langley High Street.

Behind the bar there were a collection of 32 lovely awards which Zak had ordered to give to school children the next day. The restaurant recognise 2 pupils from each class of both Langley Primary School and Causeway Green Primary School, and give a meal at the restaurant to the child and their parents/carers, an award and a certificate of recognition. I've Storfied Zak's tweets with photos from the Awards Ceremonies this week.

I just love Zak's approach to life and business (from what I was able to see and hear of it in one evening) and wish that more local business people worked in this way. I'm feeling quite despondent about the likelihood of businesses in East Coseley linking in to the great opportunity which Big Local offers (see my post here), but I feel very cheered to know that there are people like Zak in the world. And even more cheered to find out that I'm within the delivery radius of Little Bangla! Though I will of course be eating at the restaurant again and look forward to hearing how the children liked their awards dinner.

1 comment:

  1. A terific and inspirational story about real community engagement