The restaurant sector has been one of the very hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Industry data shows that there are around 3,000 fewer restaurants than there were in March 2020 – which is the equivalent of eight closures every day. Since the start of this year, the trend has accelerated, with the independent segment suffering 2,000 closures in January and February alone.
However, with the first stage of the reopening roadmap now behind us and with further restrictions being lifted just a few weeks from now, there are reasons to be positive. Judging by the fact that almost half of consumers in England visited a pub or restaurant in the first week of reopening, it is clear that confidence is high and there is a renewed sense of the importance of supporting local businesses and how people value their local independent restaurant or pub.
Restaurant Collective is on a mission to save the UK’s independent restaurants. We are the first member-led and owned, non-profit community, that champions, connects and supports independent restaurateurs and other hospitality operators across the UK. We want to provide the passionate and hard-working individuals running these venues with a louder voice and to level the playing field – offering guidance, deals and inspiration that enables them not just to survive, but thrive.
Hundreds of independent restaurateurs have told us about the resources and support they need and we’ve got backing in place to start building our membership around these.
Benefits of Restaurant Collective membership include:
- Mentorship from experienced operators and individuals
- Exclusive supplier deals in the Deals Marketplace
- Advice and support from fellow operators in the Members Forum
- Access to new staff on loan/recommendation via the Job Exchange
- A boost to their online presence with a unique content management tool
- Skills training and business inspiration for themselves and their teams in the Knowledge Base
- Inclusion in the UK’s largest directory of independent restaurants
Got Michelin aspirations? Imagine learning from someone who turned a restaurant like yours into a destination dining venue. Want to build a bigger brand? Pair up with a pro who grew from a single site to a multi-site group. We’re putting together a Mentorship Programme to help you learn directly from people who have been in your shoes.
Bringing together a community
As well as supporting independent restaurateurs with a range of member benefits, Restaurant Collective looks to encourage consumers to back their local independent businesses, through social media activity that aims to boost footfall and keep independent outlets front of mind.
We’re also building the UK’s most comprehensive Independent Restaurant Directory so that members can promote themselves to the kind of customers who care about supporting small businesses. In time, this listing will also act as the digital blueprint for your entire online presence. No more contacting 15 different review sites just because you need to change your opening hours or your menu. The plan is for them to come to us!
Restaurant Collective is being championed by celebrated chef and patron, Brian J Turner CBE.
He says: “The ethos of hospitality has always been to bring people together and provide them with an enjoyable and memorable experience. While this remains the case today, it’s more complex running a restaurant nowadays compared to when I opened my first venue many years ago, with significantly increased competition and attention on eating out.
“That’s why I firmly believe Restaurant Collective is a fantastic initiative, bringing together independent and smaller operators to support one and other. It’s certainly something that would’ve been of great assistance to me and my peers when we were starting out in the industry.”
Restaurant Collective is open to anyone who runs a single site venue or a small group of sites, as well as those from larger groups who are looking to connect with and support like-minded operators – plus supplier partners in a sponsorship capacity. Members will be able to influence the direction of Restaurant Collective, ensuring it provides members with value-adding services that help grow their businesses.
To sign up and for more details, please visit www.restaurantcollective.org.uk