Waitrose & Partners unveils plans for 42 more supper clubs
Waitrose & Partners is to roll out its supper club concept to a further 42 shops working with WeFiFo, the social dining platform.
More than 1,300 guests are expected to be served over the course of the events which will be held in 42 different Waitrose & Partners shops across the UK between now and the end of March.
The roll out builds on the success of WeFiFo entering John Lewis Partnership's unique retail tech innovation programme, JLAB, last year. After fighting off strong competition from over 200 start-up businesses, they were awarded £100,000 investment and access to expert advice and support.
Since then seven supper clubs in shops have been trialled, where more than 150 guests were served over the course of seven evenings.
WeFiFo connects home cooks, supper club hosts and professional chefs with diners in their local community. In the case of the events held in Waitrose & Partners shops, WeFiFo gives professional chefs the opportunity to showcase their talents to Waitrose & Partners customers.
WeFiFo organises and host the events on behalf of the chefs who develop menus using products available from Waitrose & Partners with accompanying wines chosen by the supermarket's wine specialists.
Music is played during the evenings and guests sit at communal tables to encourage an inclusive experience where everyone feels they can join a conversation whether dining solo, in a couple or with groups of friends and family.
Menus this year have already included African and Thai themes and future events will include vegan and vegetarian supper clubs as well as 'free from' supper clubs. Places can be booked at www.wefifo.com with prices varying dependent on event.
Founder of Cabrito Goat, chef and author, James Whetlor, has hosted supper clubs in Waitrose & Partners shops in Bristol and Bath; Lerato Umah Shaylor, chef and founder of Lerato, has hosted in Hove; chefs, Beckie Wingrove and Christian Armstrong, from The Salt Box pop up, have hosted in Dorking and Punk Thai hosted in Truro.
Waitrose & Partners Head of Hospitality, Rebecca Hemsley, said:
'Our supper clubs are one of the many ways we're bringing innovative and unique services to our customers which aren't provided by other supermarkets. These events not only showcase the talented chefs we have here in the UK, but also what's available in our shops. It's a fantastic opportunity for guests to enjoy new dishes and be inspired to recreate them using ingredients they may not have tried before.'
WeFiFo co-founder and CEO, Seni Glaister, says:
'We believe passionately in our mission to bring people together with food and to combat social isolation through eating together - our partnership with Waitrose & Partners will bring new audiences, talents and influence together in their beautiful café spaces.'
Kathy Slack from Gluts & Gluttony, who hosted a supper club this summer at Waitrose & Partners Banbury says:
'On the day of the supper club, whilst you're prepping in their on-site kitchens it's like having the best larder and the best specialists you can imagine right next to you whilst you're cooking.'
Lerato Umah Shaylor from Lerato who hosted a supper club at Waitrose & Partners Hove last week (27th Sept) adds:
'I love hosting supper clubs as it gives me a chance to share my great passion and African heritage. Hosting with WeFiFo at Waitrose & Partners is quite extraordinary. We not only have a shared belief in the cooking and eating well using the very best ingredients, but the important role food plays in bringing people together.'
Notes to editors
About Waitrose & Partners
Waitrose & Partners has 349 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 61 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop - dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose & Partners is an employee-owned business - all employees are Partners and have a say in how the business is run.
Waitrose & Partners exports products to more than 50 countries worldwide and has nine shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.
Founded in 2016, WeFiFo is a multi-award-winning UK based start-up changing the way the world eats, one table at a time. WeFiFo aims to be Airbnb for the kitchen table, connecting talented home cooks, ambitious supper clubbers and professional chefs with paying guests. Within its first year WeFiFo secured backing from the John Lewis Partnership and has hosted events in 7 countries.
WeFiFo offers a unique opportunity to connect guests with people who love to cook, providing authentic food experiences at sharing tables from intimate dinner parties to show stopping extravaganzas. So far, WeFiFo events have taken place in hosts’ homes, in woodlands, in shopping centres, in supermarket cafes, on high streets, aboard boats and in parks. WeFiFo has established working relationships with a number of corporate partners, offering guests a rich variety of events to choose from.
The John Lewis Partnership has been running its unique retail tech innovation programme for five years and is one of the largest innovation programmes in the UK. JLAB provides access to expert advice from the John Lewis Partnership, customer panels and data, a chance to launch trials and pilots, office space and possible financial investment. For the first time in 2018 it was expanded to run all year-round and opened up to both established businesses and start-ups.
For further information, please contact:
Waitrose & Partners
Partner & Corporate Communications Manager
tel: 01344 824657/07764 676 880
Head of Marketing
tel: 07392 086 973