A hotel in Nanyuki claimed to roll out a festive offer to feed hungry Kenyans who cannot afford meals from December into the first days of January 2024.
The 33-year-old sole proprietor, Cyrus Kiarie, stated that he rolled out the directive on November 30, 2023. However, the free program kicked in today as he marked the first day of the festive month.
“We were planning to roll it out officially on Monday, but the free food has already started,” Kiarie told Kenyans.co.ke.
In his directive, one can buy food even if they are not hungry, leave the receipt at the counter, and a hungry man walks in to choose a free meal.
Collage of Kenyan dishes
“Even you can just come, pay for food, and if you don’t want to have you can give it out by leaving the ticket at the counter to help somebody else,” Kiarie narrated.
For two years, he claimed, he operated on a delivery basis in Nanyuki, Laikipia County. Offering free food, he stated was a new direction he was taking since he launched a second branch in the town.
Prior to the launch, he involved his friends and well-wishers who bought several dishes to see the offer through the first week. He claimed that one paid for 100 chapatis and another sponsored 20 full breakfast meals for the first week of December.
Furthermore, the hotelier claimed he was willing to allow locals to eat even when the free receipts were over and incentivise some to buy food and leave the slips at the counter. According to Kiarie, his offer was more was more than just fostering good will and happiness during the festive season but also giving back to the community.
“If we see the project is viable, we will not just end after the festive but will carry it forward henceforth,” stated Kiarie.
However, on social media posts he shared online, a section of Kenyans called him out for sharing fake receipts.
“Discover a heartwarming tale at Kiarie’s Chapati Nanyuki: buy a meal, leave the receipt on the notice board, and let someone hungry enjoy a delicious feast on you,” he wrote.
A Google Reverse Search of the receipts indicated that the photo had been shared multiple times online on Facebook, X and LinkedIn before November 2023.
“The first image is from a completely different story and restaurant,” one hawk-eyed tweep responded.
A viral photo of receipts in a CSR program to feed the homeless
“Stop this cheap PR… I am in Nanyuki. Have been to his joint behind Nanyuki Primary yesterday for smocha (chapati and smoke) na hii yako ni story ya jaba (this is a doctored story),” another comment read.
However, Kiarie maintained that he had borrowed the concept but did not clarify why he used the widely circulated receipt photos.
“Go there and do it, I insist,” he stated on his X page. Efforts to press him to explain the same were futile.
Nonetheless, a section of other Kenyans lauded him for the unique idea.
“Great concept. We are brothers keeper. Be blessed as you feed those without food,” one response read.
“I’ve been to this place, just a few metres away from Nanyuki Referral,” another added.
More businesses are adopting new techniques to attract customers or market their services. On Wednesday, a renowned restaurant in Gigiri, Nairobi County, switched its charges from Shillings to Dollars to capitalise on the depreciation of the local currency.
“We want a stable business. The shilling is unstable,” the entrepreneur remarked after eliciting mixed reactions online.
A photo of a person counting 100-dollar bills