Since we first opened back in 2013, we have outsourced our hospitality (food, beverage, and service) offer to an external partner. This was first Benugo, then BaxterStorey and then more recently Thomas Franks. We always felt this was the best model for us because hospitality is not our core expertise and it enabled us to share the risk of that with someone expert. It also created an independent commercial hospitality environment for our participants during their work experience and progression opportunities for our graduates into jobs in the hospitality sector.
But over the last six months, BaxterStorey and subsequently Thomas Franks decided the contract was not viable in the current context. Thomas Franks will end their partnership with us when we close for Christmas on 18th December. We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for the hospitality sector and that our significantly reduced footfall will mean the hospitality team will not break even while Covid-19 restrictions are in place.
But we are here to break the cycle of homelessness. And the relationship between good work and homelessness has never been more apparent. Our programmes are oversubscribed, and our graduates need us more than ever.
We also owe it to you, our members, to keep serving coffee and cocktails and to be here on the other side of this as a space for your reunion dinners, disco nights, weddings, long lunches and an outstanding morning coffee while you work.
We have ambitious plans for the House, our community and to increase our impact, and we are not ready to give up just yet.
A change in our approach to hospitality:
On this basis, we have decided to take the hospitality offer in-house from January 2021. We will directly employ the chefs, bar staff and waiters who have shown their commitment to you and us over the years and we will quickly become expert on everything from procurement to pisco sours.
We will offer the same improved, delicious and locally-sourced style of food and drink that we launched in August. Your experience in the club will feel the same, but with an extra spring in our steps.
It will continue to be a challenging time, however, and we do not know when things will return to normal or when Government restrictions will end. Our Trustees recognise that we will need to make a loss in the short term, in order to ensure we make it through to the other side – but we need to ensure we are still here to support people affected by homelessness for as long as we’re needed.
A (slightly) extended Christmas closure:
- We will have to extend our normal Christmas closure from 21st December until 15th January, to give us time to get everything in place to run the hospitality in-house
- Whilst we’re closed, our members will be warmly welcomed as honorary members by our friends at The Groucho Club and The Ivy Club. Get in touch with the Membership Team to find out how to get access.
How can you help?
- Keep giving us feedback about your experience in the Club and what you’d love to see us do next
- Continue to pay your membership – and recruit others who might want to join our community
- Upgrade to lifetime membership for £6,250? Help us out now and pay it forward to yourself.
Thank you for being a member of House of St Barnabas. We are more than just a members’ club and we want to ensure we can continue to break the cycle of homelessness as long as there is demand for our work.
With all our Barnabas love,