The scheme was intended as a high quality, low cost, ready meal delivery service, designed to offer some extra financial relief to chefs and waiters who had lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus crisis, and also as means of providing free meals for NHS workers and the homeless.
To date, it has delivered over 200 meals a day to NHS staff across London at The Whittington, St Pancras hospital; Homerton University Hospital; Royal Brompton; Royal Marsden; Croydon University Hospital; Great Ormond street; Guy’s; and St Thomas’ Hospital, and also to The Connection at St Martin’s Field Homeless Shelter.
“We began this initiative as a way of trying to keep people in work,” says Maison Bab and Le Bab co-founder, Stephen Tozer
“Overnight one million hospitality staff (now more) lost their jobs. The JRS didn’t exist, and we were seriously worried by the mental health implications of people who are used to working on an intense schedule suddenly transitioning to doing nothing.
“We also saw this initiative as a way of creating extra support to those in need, particularly the amazing front line doctors and nurses of the NHS, who at the peak of this quite literally barely had time to eat.
“We’re delighted to have reached the milestone of providing 9,000 meals for the NHS, and thousands more for others who are in need. We hope to continue to be able to support those in the hospitality industry who are in need of help, and to keep feeding people who need feeding.
“Sadly, the damage of this crisis has now spread way beyond the NHS, and we’re just here to do our bit in supporting anyone we can.”
The London Restaurant Co-operative is based at Le Bab in Soho’s Kingly Court.