From today, Monday 23 March, Soho's Le Bab kitchen has temporarily reopened as a not-for-profit social kitchen co-operative, to offer some extra financial relief to the chefs and waiters who’ve lost their jobs due to coronavirus restaurant closures.
Unemployed chefs are to prepare low cost, delicious ready meal comfort food such as lasagne, that can be paid for online and biked over to people by the waiting staff. The kitchen and waiting staff are to keep 100% of the profits, and owner Stephen Tozer will personally cover the set up cost.
The scheme is expressly not for profit. Significantly cheaper than 'takeaway', all proceeds will go directly to those chefs and waiters who’ve just lost their jobs.
Every day the chefs will cook two different high quality, delicious meals (one vegan and one non-vegan), using phenomenal British produce, and bring them to customers doors' in time for dinner, with the option of no contact if required. Each meal is just £6.50. Bulk discounts will also be available.
The options will change daily and be advertised on the website and @londonrestaurantcooperative Instagram account.
The London Restaurant Co-operative will also provide an option of donating meals to charitable destinations of your choosing. Per optional £4 tip on top of your order, they will deliver a meal to UCL hospital to help feed staff, or The Connection at St Martin in the Fields homeless shelter.
The London Restaurant Cooperative will also give all the leftover meals to their kitchen and waiting staff to take home for their families, and any further surplus food to NHS staff and The Connection at St Martin in the Fields homeless shelter.
Staff hygiene will of course be the top priority during this time. Before and after each delivery, hands will be sanitised and fresh gloves will be given. Staff showing even the smallest signs of illness will not be permitted to work and will be in self isolation. The London Restaurant Co-operative are following all government guidelines with regards to hygiene.
Le Bab co-funder Stephen Tozer said of the scheme, “It’s imperative to keep people in work for two big reasons: financial stability, and mental/emotional health. The industry has just hit a brick wall in the last 2 days. 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.'
To order meals please visit https://self-talk-srnm.squarespace.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To check on daily changing options visit the website and @londonrestaurantcooperative