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They started their business on the streets, now restaurateur duo Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins – the brains behind Meatliquor, Meatmission and Meatmarket – have broken records for homeless charity StreetSmart: Meatliquor raised a staggering £14,000 in December alone – the largest amount of money ever raised in a one-month period by a UK restaurant.
Top of this year’s fundraisers were Gordon Ramsays’ Heathrow restaurant Plane Food, the largest single contributor to StreetSmart in 2012, donating a total of £22,000, followed by the Oxo Tower Restaurant on the South Bank, which contributed £15,000. After its record-breaking December fundraising effort, Meatliquor finished third overall – although hundreds of other restaurants did their bit, raising an average of £1,000 each.
While the most prominent participants in StreetSmart’s annual campaign are inevitably Michelin-starred affairs, it is heartening to know that restaurants – and diners – at every level can do their bit to help the homeless. ‘Meatliquor made it work with a restaurant that has general appeal,’ said Glenn Pougnet, director of StreetSmart. ‘The team embraced the idea of StreetSmart straightaway and their huge success proves that restaurants of all shapes and sizes can make a difference when they’re really passionate about helping.’
Since 1998, StreetSmart has raised money for local homeless projects in London and the UK during the Christmas months, with more restaurants signing up to the campaign each year. In November and December 2012, diners at 550 restaurants across the UK (including more than 300 in London), added £1 to their table bill, money that is ploughed into local homeless charities by StreetSmart.
StreetSmart’s fundraising total for 2012 is still being calculated, but Pougnet estimates that the charity will break its 2011 record of £760,000, potentially pushing the total money raised to £800,000.