Frequently asked questions
Where can I find your menu?
Our menu changes daily but you can find today's dishes on a blackboard in the cafe or on our social media.
How do you get your rescued food?
We rescue produce from farms, supermarkets and allotments through partnerships with organisations Fare Share Sussex & UK Harvest as well as individual partnerships with smaller farms. We create our menu around rescued produce that would have otherwise gone to landfill, in turn reducing carbon emissions.
We supplement our rescued produce when needed by buying other kitchen essentials from a variety of suppliers in order to create more exiting and varied meals. We always consider sustainability, plastic packaging and environmental footprint when choosing which products to buy. All of our drinks are bought from fairtrade, organic and often local suppliers.
For more information feel free to have a look on www.fareshare.org.uk and www.ukharvest.org.uk and learn more about the fantastic work these organisations do.
Are you taking food surplus away from food banks and people in need?
Soul Soup is a social business and thus firmly puts people and planet before profit. Roughly one third of all food produced is wasted and whilst the U.K. has made a lot of progress in diverting this food from landfill there is still a significant amount of food left to be rescued! The scale and complexities of the food waste problem, like all social and environmental issues, requires a myriad of approaches to tackle it and bring the topic into the public eye- this includes charities, government organisations, social businesses, community groups and much more. Food banks for the homeless and disadvantaged are one of the most common examples of how rescued produce is often distributed but other projects like our social business model are also important and efficient ways of fighting food waste.
Soul Soup itself aims to create zero food waste and to achieve this we donate our surplus dishes to Open Door Lewes, an organisation that works with the homeless in our community. We also have a Pay-It-Forward loyalty card scheme allowing customers to choose any food or drink item they would like us to donate to Open Door in an attempt to further the inclusitivity of Soul Soup. We also operate a classic Pay-It-Forward model where customers can buy a meal for a disadvantaged person rather than leaving a tip for example if they wish.
Why should customers pay for rescued food?
Whilst perhaps at first it would seem that using free or priced-far-below-reccomended-retail-price food surplus and selling it at fixed prices is a highly lucrative business model and not in keeping with social business objectives this is NOT the case. This is for several reasons:
- Our menu is based around food surplus but we pay fees to cover the organisations' logistical costs occured in intercepting food waste.
- Our menu is based around rescued food but we buy extra high quality ingredients to create exciting dishes.
- We have different business costs such as pickup and delivery fees, sorting produce and at least twice as much food preparation time as our chefs' make new dishes from scratch every day
-If you have experience working in hospitality then you will know that when you go out to eat you are paying for atmosphere, service, staff wages, general overheads and a minimal amount covers food costs. Soul Soup operates as a normal hospitality business in this regard and as a result has overheads and payroll to cover. Unlike many food waste initiatives Soul Soup is not dependent on outside funding or largely ran by volunteers.
If you have any queries or would like to know more about our business model please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can you guarantee food safety?
All of our staff are trained in Food Health and Safety and follow hygiene practices and procedures like all food establishments are required to by law.
As Soul Soup is a plant-based cafe this means that we use low-risk foods as vegetables, fruits, pulses and dried goods which are far less risky than products containing meat and dairy.
Futhermore, Soul Soup does not use food past it's expiration date but food that is past its "best before" date. The vast majority of food waste is perfectly edible and fit for consumption but is simply past it's "best before" date or has slight imperfections.