Social Bite: New cafe opens in Royal Bank of Scotland’s Edinburgh headquarters
The new site, which officially opened its doors today, is situated in the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters and will be the first Social Bite cafe within a commercial space, catering to both employees and visitors.
Social Bite founder, Josh Littlejohn opened the cafe in Gogarburn, on Wednesday alongside Royal Bank’s Chief Administrative Officer, Simon McNamara.
Mr Littlejohn said: “Launching a new cafe is always a huge milestone for everyone at Social Bite, but to be opening a site within Royal Bank’s headquarters after such a successful charity partnership between BaxterStorey and the bank feels even more significant.
“The cafe will provide those experiencing homelessness with access to secure employment through training initiatives and we can’t wait to welcome back Royal Bank colleagues as they slowly return to the office.”
The launch follows an 18-month partnership between Royal Bank of Scotland, Social Bite and BaxterStorey, the bank’s catering provider.
The joint venture saw the creation of a foodbank distribution centre at Gogarburn – successfully distributing over 6,000 meals daily to vulnerable families and individuals from across Scotland since its launch in March 2020.
Mr McNamara said: “Throughout the challenges of lockdown, our colleagues continued to go above and beyond for the communities which we serve and, now, as we start to spend more time in our offices and branches, it felt right to see what more our network could offer.
“Small changes can make a big difference and we know our colleagues will offer their support.”
Sheena Hales, the Programme Capability Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland who spearheaded the launch of the foodbank, added: “The initial launch of the foodbank came from an immediate need to support the local community and those most impacted by lockdown.
"The opening of the new Social Bite cafe will allow us to continue in its legacy as we look to the future beyond the pandemic.
“The entire process has been a team effort and none of it would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers or the generosity of strategic partners such as BaxterStorey, who have worked tirelessly over the past eighteen months to help us support those most in need.”