A not-for-profit food delivery initiative has been launched, providing hospitality workers on zero-hour contracts with a source of employment during the coronavirus epidemic.
The London Restaurant Co-operative will continue to operate following the government’s stricter measures announced on 23 March, delivering food to support NHS staff and those who are finding it difficult to shop.
The scheme has been set up by Le Bab kitchen, which had closed its usual daily operations during the pandemic, only to reopen as a temporary social kitchen, offering chefs (who have lost their job due to restaurants closures in the Covid-19 crisis) the opportunity to prepare low cost ready meals – such as lasagne – that can be paid for online and biked over to people by the waiting staff.
The kitchen and waiting staff will keep 100% of the profits, and Le Bab owner Stephen Tozer is personally covering the set up cost.
Every day the chefs will cook two different, high quality meals (one vegan and one non-vegan), using British produce, bringing them to customers doors’ in time for dinner, with the option of no contact if required.
Each meal is £7 and bulk discounts will also be available.
“It’s imperative to keep people in work for two big reasons: financial stability, and mental/emotional health,” says Tozer.
“The industry has just hit a brick wall… so have hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers’ careers.
“We’re hoping to provide an outlet and an opportunity for people to earn some money and stay active and positive. We also think that this is a great consumer proposition – to have a meal cooked by top chefs, with top ingredients, delivered to your door, for the price of a high-end supermarket pizza.”
There is also the option for guests to donate a meal to a charitable destinations of their choosing. For £4, The London Restaurant Cooperative will deliver a meal to UCL hospital to help feed staff or to St Martin-in-the-Fields homeless charity.
Surplus food at the end of each day will also be donated to NHS staff at UCL hospital and The Connection at St Martin in the Fields homeless shelter.
Any additional funds not distributed as wage support, will also be used to fund charitable meals.