The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the coronavirus pandemic. As restaurants have started to reopen and many in the UK have opened over the past weekend, social distancing requirements and declining footfall as many people stay at home mean that Restaurateurs will generate much less revenue and will struggle to keep their doors open, especially when government support wanes. Some restaurants have thrived by adapting their business model to delivery, using platforms such as Deliveroo and Just Eat. However, restaurants that offer a dining experience with higher quality chefs may suffer because they can’t charge customers for what they would do in-store and stay competitive online. Two entrepreneurs launching an innovative food delivery service where customers can order food, purchase ethical products and attend events that merge digital and physical to create an enhanced social dining experience are Dom Cools-Lartigue and Bejay Mulenga .

A plate for London

Cools-Lartigue and Mulenga are both serial entrepreneurs, the former being responsible for founding Street Feast, London’s leading street market chain. Mulenga is an award-winning social entrepreneur who we featured late last year on Forbes. Initially, the couple intended to create a physical food festival next summer in London, but after noticing the impact of the current pandemic on the number of people living below the poverty line and wanting to help , they launched A Plate For London which is “a coalition of local heroes, local charities, industry organizations and local government to reach Londoners in need”. Thanks to A Plate For London, they were able to feed thousands of people during the coronavirus pandemic with a special focus on schoolchildren who would normally receive free school meals in partnership with Tower Hamlets Council to feed 15,000 children in the borough of London.

In an effort to further support Londoners, they showcased their food festival by making it virtual with a focus on delivering a home cooking experience featuring top chefs such as Nuno Mendes and Ollie Dabbous and interactive events with wellness coaches, speakers, musicians and performances. artists leading cooking workshops, meditation sessions, lectures and live musical performances. The virtual festival took place last weekend of July 3-5 and was a huge success with 1,000 meals sold, meaning Great Feast will be able to donate 1,000 meals to those in need through A Plate For London.

Big party delivery

The legacy of the virtual festival will be a permanent online marketplace where their fleet of eco-friendly delivery drivers will deliver food to large independent restaurants who will in turn benefit from a more equitable commission structure of between 10-20% versus 30%. 35% charged. on platforms such as Deliveroo. Additionally, guests will enjoy an enhanced dining experience with recipe kits from restaurants such as Kricket, Patty & Bun and AngloThai and drinks from some of London’s best craft breweries as well as a range of pre-bottled cocktails, cocktail kits and a large selection of wines. “Culture and events will continue to play an important role,” the duo says with “weekly podcasts, videos and editorial content that will explore food, drink and wellness.” However, more importantly, every order placed will contribute towards a free meal for someone living below the poverty line through A Plate For London.

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly caused many problems that we will likely see in the foreseeable future and it is entrepreneurs like Mulenga and Cools-Lartigue who are finding innovative solutions that have both a business and social advantage that will help the company to succeed. come out stronger. The Great Feast Marketplace is now live and will be delivered weekly starting July 17th.

This article is part of a series featuring underrepresented people making a difference. To submit feature ideas or keep up to date with new releases you can find me on Twitter – @ TommyPF91.

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