Gnocchi, I will make.

My nana makes a good Gnocchi, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, since she’s born and raised in Messina, Italy.

Gnocchi recipe here (

Her daughter grew up shadowing nana learning all about the Italian kitchen and cooking.

My mom married a dashing businessman and moved to Mumbai, bringing nana along. They became quite well known in the locality, firstly, for being firangs; and secondly, for making Gnocchis which they generously gave to neighbours.

Along came an opportunity — “start a restaurant, we will invest”. Nana and mom, both without much to do in a foreign land, decided to go for it.

“But how do we market ourselves? We can’t just start a restaurant (away from our locality in some unknown location called Bandra, as identified by the investors)?”

A marketing consultant was brought in. He did the usuals — researched, analysed what’s in the area – demographics, age group, preferences, etc.

“This area is full of mid 20s to 30s. They love pizzas. They want pizzas. The strategy is — Market your pizzas.”

“But what about Gnocchi?”

“No. They won’t understand Gnocchi. They can’t even pronounce it. Stick to Pizzas. I’m sure you all can make good pizzas.”

He’s the expert. Let’s give it a try. If we invest some efforts and money into marketing pizzas, business will start. Alright – here we go. The checklist: Flyers to promote pizzas; Social campaigns on Instagram; Targeted Google Ad Words; FB PPCs; etc etc. The list is exhaustive, but it’s alright – we just need to make some nice pizzas for a photoshoot, and the Agency will take care of everything else.

2 weeks later, dad casually asked.

“How’s business?”

“Not doing too well.”

“Why’s that? I thought you all had spent some money in promotions?”

“Ya, but the marketing agency says it will take time.”

“How do people find you?”

I got curious. I googled Pizza Bandra. I can’t find us. Everyone was there — Domino’s, PizzaHut, Pizza Express, 1441, Sbarro, Swiggy, Zomato, etc etc. Just not us.

“What should we do?”

Marketing consultant says – “Pizza” is the right strategy; but probably we are not covering enough channels. We should try instagram stories; we should try adding a section on our website, write 1500 words articles to talk about pizzas. Heck, we should even pay for some influencers to eat at our shop, and do a #pizzabandra. This will get us eyeballs.

Basically, spend more money.

I saw nana sitting quietly at the corner, listening to our conversations.

“We should stick to Gnocchi. We don’t make pizzas. It is not our food, it ain’t us. And everybody loves my Gnocchi.”

Reflections after sitting through another one of those SEO pitch presentation. You know – one of those that list down all the channels to spend money on, while no one took the time to ask:

“What about the Gnocchi?”

As usual, the “subscribe me” plug.

Subscribe to my list. I am an individual – I don’t have marketing offers or discount codes to spam you. That, you can be assured.