What is BaSE?:News and Views

Food for thought

The restaurant business is famously hard to crack and yet it has been the backdrop to a clutch of social-mission businesses.  When Russell Brand is getting in on the act you could be forgiven for thinking that the zeitgeist has come home to roost.

You can't fault the logic of tapping into a cash-rich, time-poor section of society who may not have time to volunteer but still have time to eat out.  Social impact sets a restaurant apart from the competition and in a crowded market the novelty-factor is evident.  A 'unique dining experience, within the walls of a Category C prison' anyone?

Novelty-factor aside, restaurants such as Fifteen show that impact and a sustainable business model are not mutually exclusive.  Fifteen says that over 350 students have graduated from its programme, 80% of whom remain successfully employed in the industry.  Perhaps the secret to their success lies in the following mission statement: 'Our ethos at Fifteen Cornwall is a fairly simple one: stay in business.'

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