Gary Usher has said that he was “made up” to be able to give a homeless man a kitchen porter position at his Manchester restaurant Kala after meeting him on the street.
The chef shared his experience on Twitter, where he wrote: “Made up!! Leaving Kala last night about midnight in my chef jacket and got talking to a homeless guy. He asked me for cash and I didn’t have any and there wasn’t a cash point anywhere. As I walked off he shouted, Mate, got any jobs!? I walked backed to him and said FUCKING RIGHT I DO…
“He said he’d do anything. I replied mate, you don’t need to do anything, I have a kitchen porter position available and you could do some food prep too. He was fucking made up and so was I. He asked me when I was next in? I said I’m there every day. He said tomorrow? Yes I said …
“10 minutes ago, a clean-shaven, smart looking, very nervous man just walked in to Kala… He starts Wednesday. He was fucking buzzing. I’m buzzing. I’ve been offering jobs to people on the streets for 10 years. Derick is the first person in that time to turn up.”
Usher’s actions have been praised across social media, with several individuals and organisations offering support as his new kitchen porter settles into the role.
He was also thanked by the man’s daughter, who said: “If everyone showed the same kindness you showed my dad, the world would be a much better place. Thank you again Gary, you’re a legend.”
Last month, as part of a series of features addressing the industry’s staffing crisis, The Caterer examined how hospitality could do more to help the homeless into the workplace.
There are currently 320,000 people in the UK who are homeless or in temporary accommodation, according to housing charity Shelter, including between 4,000 and 5,000 sleeping on the streets each night.