Edinburgh’s first social enterprise restaurant opens its doors

Josh littejohn and dean gassabi of home restaurant 3web

Josh Littlejohn and Dean Gassabi

The team behind Social Bite are opening Home, a fine dining restaurant that will give jobs to homeless people and its profits to good causes

Susan Smith's photo

23rd September 2016 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Edinburgh's first social enterprise restaurant, which aims to give 100 per cent of its profits to charity, is set to open this weekend with the backing of a Michelin star chef.

Top chef Martin Wishart is lending his support to Home, which opens in the city’s West End on Saturday and comes from the team behind sandwich shop Social Bite. It will provide jobs and training for formerly homeless people as well as donate profits to Social Bite and other good causes.

Social Bite founder Josh Littlejohn has also pulled in support from chef David Wither of Montpelier Group and restauranteur Simon Littlejohn (Josh’s dad).

We will be inviting the homeless community into the restaurant every Monday 3pm- 5pm to eat with dignity - Josh Littlejohn

The Queensferry Street venture will be operated by Dean Gassabi of the long-established Maison Bleue restaurant.

With around 70 covers for lunch and dinner, the restaurant will offer an Auld Alliance mix of French and Scottish cuisine similar in style and value to the current Maison Bleue offering. 

Alongside a core professional staff, Home will provide training and employment programmes for members of the Social Bite Academy, the charity’s four year course for homeless people.

Diners will also be encouraged to pay forward meals for the homeless and each Monday afternoon from 3pm to 5pm, the restaurant will open for a special service for the homeless.  

Martin Wishart will guest chef once a quarter and will be creating monthly specials for the menu. He will also be offering spaces at his Cook School to members of the Social Bite Academy.

Josh Littlejohn of Social Bite said: ““Home is a unique place and we’re incredibly excited to be opening up the doors this weekend. It’s a place where you can get a first rate meal at the same time as helping some of the most vulnerable people in society. It’s a natural evolution of what we’ve been doing at Social Bite and I hope people support it in the same way.”

“We will be inviting the homeless community into the restaurant every Monday 3pm- 5pm to eat with dignity – not to offer a hand out, but a hand up – to employment, stability and self-worth.”

Dean Gassabi of Maison Bleue said: “I had already secured these premises for a new Maison Bleue restaurant when Josh came to me with the proposal for Home and it was such a fantastic idea we agreed to go ahead immediately.

“This venture with Social Bite is a fantastic way for us to put something back, including helping the homeless community.”