If you’ve always celebrated Oktoberfest, Halloween or the recent St Patrick’s Day as if these were part of your own traditions, this year has lots more in store for you. Cashing in on the success of international festival-themed events in restaurants and clubs, owners now plan to introduce a wide variety of celebrations to draw in the crowds.
“We plan to celebrate Sauza (Mexico), Songkran (Thai New Year) the Chinese Lantern Festival and a host of others,” says Sherman Almeida, F&B manager, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport. “Any form of celebration is an excuse to party and generate buzz,” he adds.
His sentiments are echoed by 22-year-old Monish Rohra, who runs The Café at Executive Enclave, Bandra. “A growing demand among the youth has prompted us to start organising such events. Last month, the venue celebrated Valentine’s Day with an event based around Taiwan’s Lantern Festival.
Last year, the city saw an unprecedented rise in events centred around Halloween, Thanksgiving and Oktoberfest. There was even a failed attempt to celebrate Spain’s La Tomatina, after Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) popularised it on the screen. Le Pain Quotidien’s chef, Alain Coumont explains this phenomenon.
“The beauty of India is its ability to welcome new traditions as well as keep the old ones alive. Plus, we use these special events to offer something different on our menu.” Manchester United Café and Bar’s Anil Laroia, AVP operations, adds, “The response has always been more than average, and at some events, we’ve witnessed an enormous rise in sales.”
At Hard Rock Café too, plans are underway to celebrate Mas Tequila, a Mexican festival, this August. “There is a lot of excitement as these are novel festivities. Plus, we have expats in our target audience, and this makes them feel at home,” says Sanjay Mahtani, co-founder and executive director, JSM Corporation.