With five coffee shops already running across three cities in Scotland, the new London site will offer a ‘Pay-It-Forward’ system and will employ people from the homeless community. Customers who come in and buy a coffee or a sandwich can buy an additional meal or hot drink in advance for someone who is homeless to redeem later.
BaxterStorey, who will be providing operational support and staff, also worked with the Social Bite team on its first site in Edinburgh. Social Bite aims to give out an average of 180,000 items of free food and hot drinks year-round across its network of coffee shops and charity partners. They have provided more than 800,000 food packs during the pandemic alone.
Josh Littlejohn MBE, founder of Social Bite, said: “We are delighted to be able to launch a new coffee shop in central London. It’s such an incredible milestone for us all here at Social Bite. There are many great charities already working in London, but we truly believe that our social impact program is life-changing and provides something unique, having helped the lives of thousands we are excited to bring this change to the streets of London.”
Social Bite shot to global fame when the Edinburgh café was visited by Hollywood superstars Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney. Other famous visitors to the café include The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Ronan Harte, chief executive of BaxterStorey, added: “We are acutely aware of the issues around homelessness, not just in London, but across the UK, and are proud to be collaborating with organisations like Social Bite to help tackle some of the challenges facing an increasing number of people today. This cafe will give many people the opportunity to contribute in their own way, as well as offer some of the most vulnerable people in society a viable route into work.”