A social enterprise initiative behind the UK’s first waste food ‘pay-as-you-feel’ restaurant is set to take the concept one step further by launching a waste food catering business.
Real Junk Food Manchester sprung to prominence when it launched the pop-up in Manchester last year and the project was so successful that it has remained open for 12 months and doubled the size of the operation in the process.
Now it plans to build on that growth by opening North’s first ever waste food catering business this September. The new, larger operation, which will also be a not-for-profit organisation, will use food that would otherwise go to waste to provide catering and meals for a huge range of people, businesses and organisations.
Founder and director, Corin Bell said: “The year that we have spent running the restaurant has been amazing – it’s a huge social and economic experiment that we have learned so much from. We’ve been astounded by the welcome that we’ve received locally, and we’re beyond proud of the sense of community and inclusion that we’ve created. What we want to do now is take everything we’ve learned, and do more.”
The new operation will offer commercial outside catering, including buffets, canapés and hot meals, all using food that would have gone to waste, to businesses and organisations.
The project will also supply meals to vulnerable people across the city through partnerships with local charity and public sector groups.
It will be sited in a large commercial kitchen and is part of a new alliance with a local social housing provider.
This new venture will allow Real Junk Food Manchester to intercept, process and use more food that would otherwise go to waste, further lowering the city’s carbon footprint.
The current restaurant venture, meanwhile, is planned to continue until August and will then be relocated to another part of the city.