The city’s first restaurant where you pay what you feel your meal was worth is opening next month serving food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Real Junk Food Manchester has been running pop-up projects offering affordable, ethical eating across Manchester since 2014.

Following the success of a Crowdfunder campaign to open a permanent restaurant which saw the project raise over £39k in 28 days, delays with previous plans seemed to have put the future of the project in doubt.

But family-owned property company Bruntwood have come to the rescue and offered a temporary site on Oxford Street.

“The support that we received from the Crowdfunder was just amazing, beyond all of our expectations,” said Real Junk Food Manchester director Corin Bell.

Manchester's first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant to open in August I Love Manchester
Corin Bell

“The delays have been unavoidable, but really tough. It’s just fabulous to have contracts signed and know that we’re not far from being able to fulfil our promise to everyone who’s supported us.

“We’ve been popping up for long enough now, and we can do so much more in a full time space of our own. We can’t wait to get going!”

The restaurant will feature an ethical coffee bar in partnership with Second City Coffee, take away throughout the day, plus a 40 cover restaurant that will offer breakfast and lunch 5 days a week, with regular fine dining evenings.

And from three course feasts to glorious deserts, bakes and brews – they have a reputation for nutritious, balanced food.

That means you’ll be able to enjoy eating at a healthy place committed to cutting down food waste – helping to combat the estimated 15 million tonnes of food fit for consumption thrown away every year – and all on a not-for-profit, pay-as-you-feel basis.

The new pop-up restaurant will be as upcycled as can be. The project has worked with CHR Food Equipment Services to find donated or otherwise unused equipment. CHR have also donated project management services to support the installation of the kitchen, and have given all of their time and energy for free.

The restaurant set-up and fit out has received further support from a range of local businesses including interior designers, upcyclers, and even florists.

“Real Junk Food Manchester is a fantastic addition to this busy metropolitan area of Manchester and we are delighted to be partnered with such an innovative social enterprise,” said Toby Sproll, Bruntwood’s head of retail.

“Both companies share very similar values, with Real Junk Food Manchester’s strong commitments to a range of social and community projects reflecting our own ethos of supporting the communities in which we operate.”

The project still needs support and is seeking qualified and experienced electrical and plumbing contractors who might be willing to help build the restaurant. The team will be spending July and early August helping with the build, supported by volunteers.

Exact dates are still to be confirmed but one thing is certain. Manchester is about to get a whole lot more sustainable. And tasty.

If you who would like to donate some time, energy or materials contact volunteering@realjunkfoodmanchester.co.uk

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