By Dimithri Wijesinghe
On 13 September, Botanik will be hosting “Cheaper Than Therapy!: A night of comedy under the stars!”, a comedy night featuring comedians Anderson Haran, Divakar David, Noori, Vinu Petha, Nigel Wayne, and Aruna Fernando in partnership with HaHa Lanka, from 5-11 p.m.
The event, which was previously listed to be on 30 August, had to be rescheduled, and Botanik Assistant Manager – Branding and Marketing Clifford Isaac shared that they are taking measures to ensure the event goes smoothly on the 13th, Sunday.
He also shared that they chose to go with HaHa Lanka as they were able to curate a list of comedians, and Botanik will be providing all the necessary amenities for the performers. The six comedians will each perform a 15 to 20-minute set, and alongside the event, Botanik will be carrying out some promotional offers for their patrons including combo rates on beverages and snacks.
Isaac said that mid-pandemic, Botanik has gone to great lengths to ensure that their customers are provided a diversified experience at their venue. “We try to provide new experiences for our patrons. During the curfew time, we did a lot of online events, and post curfew, it has been no different,” he said.
He said that they thought of hosting a comedy night because it would be a different experience to what audiences are used to at restaurants, and would be a great opportunity for a break from the monotony and to have a few laughs.
In addition to this, Botanik is running an eventful calendar for their patrons, with the month of September set to bring more exciting new activities such as a series of master classes where patrons can take a peek into the inner workings of a select few crafts like bartending, where they will be given the opportunity to mix and blend some cocktails. Isaac shared that they hope to also bring in experts from other crafts like chefs, and even have a class on music production and mixing.
Speaking about the effects of the pandemic, Isaac shared that Botanik has taken many precautions when it comes to their operations, and if you’ve visited the venue since curfew was lifted, you’d have noticed that they do create a lot of awareness with regards to the necessity of taking health and safety precautions.
He said that they have maintained a certain level of capacity so that the necessary physical distancing guidelines can be followed; they also try not to serve drinks over the bar counter and have demarcated the floor seating area so that guests are at a certain distance from one another. He said that Botanik only takes walk-ins if they are not at capacity.
Isaac shared that this approach has translated well for their patrons, as they realise that the establishment is taking their health and safety seriously. He also said that this way, with the reservations being representative of how many customers they will have, it has been easier and more effective for their preparations, adding that as things have been difficult coming out of the lockdown and they are still recovering, there is no room for excess.
He said that they have had to make many adjustments, including curbing their menu; they have held on to their fast-moving dishes but were forced to largely localise the menu, which, thankfully, their patrons have understood, and have liked so far.
He added that like most people in the industry, they too are trying and doing their best with regards to events and food and beverage to ensure they “hold on to what makes Botanik, Botanik”.