Chefs and restaurateurs from around the country will unite on Monday night (7 February) to take part in UNICHEF, a massive fundraising effort which should see the industry raise a six-figure sum for victims of the Asian tsunami.
The appeal has touched all parts of the sector's workforce, with staff and waiters agreeing to forego wages, suppliers donating food, and restaurateurs contributing a percentage of the night's takings.
On top of this, UNICEF has devised a simple method to encourage customers to give extra donations on the night. Every participating restaurant will be sent up to 50 water bottle jackets, which can be slipped over the neck of water bottles served on the night. On each collar, there's an explanation of how customers can donate money to UNICEF's children's emergency appeal.
A UNICEF spokeswoman said the idea was to encourage customers to make further donations - but in a low-key way, since many had already given generously to the tsunami relief effort.
The jacket explains the ongoing need to supply clean drinking water to children affected by the giant wave which caused such devastation on Boxing Day last year.
As well as the water bottle jackets, each chef and restaurant manager will be sent a UNICHEF apron donated by manufacturer Dennys with JA International providing the logos free. Chefs and restaurant owners are encouraged to wear their aprons on the night to raise awareness of the appeal.
Event organisers at UNICEF said: "It's not too late if anyone else wants to come on board, we'll be thrilled to hear from them".
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a welcome pack.
CAPTION: Chefs and restaurant owners are encouraged to wear their UNICHEF aprons on the night to raise awareness of the appeal. The fundraising initiative was started by Philip Howard, chef-proprietor of London restaurant the Square (above right). Below right: Water bottle jackets explain how customers can make further donations
BOXHEAD: FUNDRAISING IN Brief
BOXTEXT: Dinner raises £130,000
City restaurant Bar Bourse in London raised a staggering £130,000 at a fundraising dinner for the tsunami appeal on 18 January. The restaurant's owner Louise Mayo, who worked in the City before setting up Bar Bourse, had holidayed in Galle in Sri Lanka just weeks before the tsunami - an area that was destroyed shortly afterwards. The 85 guests paid £150 a head for the dinner with all proceeds, and those from a 15-lot auction, going to the appeal. Investment bank Morgan Stanley agreed to match the funds raised by Bar Bourse.
Greene King weighs in
The Greene King pub company raised a total of £150,000 for the tsunami appeal in just two weeks. Employees organised raffles, pub quizzes, collection buckets and some even dressed up as nuns for the day to raise funds for the appeal.
The company's George pub in Hadleigh, Suffolk, collected £6,500 in one day through auctions, raffles and live music, while the head office staff in Bury St Edmunds raised £4,000.
Brazz, Kit Chapman's bar-cum-brasserie in the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales, has announced a four-week initiative to support UNICHEF. It will donate 10% of everything spent on food over the next four weeks. The appeal, which runs until 17 February, will include St Valentine's Day and any corporate business functions at the brasserie.
BOXHEAD: Who's signed up to initiative
BOXTEXT: 1 Lombard Street, London EC3; Amaya, London SW1; Assaggi, London W2; Ayoush, London W1; Balls Brothers (18 branches in London); Base One, London SW1; Benares, London W1; Bertorelli (four London branches); Best Western Monkbar hotel, North Yorkshire; Blandford Street restaurant, London W1; Bleeding Heart, London EC1; Blue Elephant, London SW6; Caesars Caf‚ Bistro, Dorset; Cape Fish, Buckinghamshire; Cargo Bar, Edinburgh; Chez Bruce, London SW18; Chez G‚rard Group (11 branches in London); Clarkes, London W8; Club Gascon, London EC1; Colettes, The Grove, Hertfordshire; Corvino, London E1; Dockmasters, London E14; El Pirata, London W1; Esseborne Manor hotel restaurant, Hampshire; Fischer's at Baslow Hall, Derbyshire; Glasshouse, London TW9; Grace Neill's, County Down, Northern Ireland; Inner Temple, London EC4; Jaan, The Howard hotel, London WC2; La Porte des Indes, London W1; La Trompette, London W4; Le Gavroche, London W1; Levant, London W1; Levantine, London W1; Livebait (five branches); Locanda Locatelli, London W1; L'Ortolan, Berkshire; Mandarin Oriental, London SW1; Mju, Millennium Knightsbridge Hotel, London SW1; Mon Plaisir, London WC2; Mosaico, London SW1; Newbury Manor hotel, Berkshire; No 5 Cavendish Square, London W1; Northcote Manor, Devon; Odette's, London NW1; Ocean restaurant, Hartlepool; Providores, London W1; Putney Bridge, London SW15; Racine, London SW3; Ransome's Dock, London SW11; Roka, London W1; Royal Clarence hotel, Devon; Santini, London SW1; Sausage & Mash Cafe, three branches; Searcy's at the Barbican, London EC2; Service Direct, County Hall, Durham; Slurp, London SW16; Smiths of Smithfield, London EC1; Stuart's Table@the Farmers Arms, Cheshire; Thai Pavilion, London W1; The Bistro De La Mer, Cornwall; The Brook hotel, Suffolk; The Chancery, London EC4; The Clerkenwell, London EC1; The Crown at Worthington, Greater Manchester; The Don, London EC4; The Ebury, London SW1; The Farm, London SW6; The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire; The Gallery, Sketch, London W1; The Grill Room, Caf‚ Royal, London W1; The Ivy, London, WC2; The Kings Arms hotel, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire; The Mansion House, Dorset; The Oaks at Redhill, Shropshire; The Old Pier Tea Room, Isle of Arran, Scotland; The Point, Edinburgh; The Real Greek Group, London SE19; The Red Fort, London W1; The Restaurant@the Gherkin, London EC3; The Restaurant Group (30 sites); The River Caf‚, London W6; The Square, London W1; The Square Bar & Grill, Berkshire; The Vobster, Bath; The Waterway, London W9; The Wells, London NW3; Thyme, London WC2; Tom Aikens, London SW3; Umu, London W1; Vama, London SW10; Villandry, London W1; Yaks Mongolian Experience, North Yorkshire; Zimzun, London SW6; Zuma, London SW7.
Supplier Wild Harvest has agreed to donate £10,000 to the cause.
n Information correct at the time of going to press.
Some restaurants have agreed to sign up to the UNICHEF appeal but prefer to remain anonymous. UNICHEF would like to acknowledge the many other restaurants that have launched their own initiatives to raise money for the tsunami victims. To get involved, call Emma Raven at UNICEF on 020 7312 7680.