The Value of Eating Together

Several people sharing food around a table

Do you eat with others regularly?

We found ourselves totally energised and super inspired following a recent networking event, entirely brought on by the fantastic speakers that we listened to. The work they are doing is too good not to share and we are convinced that we can all learn from their approach!

Introducing… The Long Table

Tom Herbert and Will Mansell founded The Long Table in 2018, when they realised that they shared a mutual dismay of how society is ‘doing food badly’, leaving people not just unwell but lonely. Their aim is to make locally sourced and homemade food accessible to everyone, regardless of their social or financial background. They opened the doors of The Long Table and welcomed everyone, ‘from buskers to billionaires’ they quipped, for a Pay-As-You-Can meal.

It’s a simple concept: they source locally produced food, create nutritious meals and then publish the cost of that meal. Customers choose to pay the cost of the meal, a portion of the cost they can afford, or ask for ‘a meal for Tom’ to eat for free. Of course, the business model only works if a percentage of customers are willing to pay more than the cost of the meal, but thankfully they find that there are plenty of people willing to do just that.

The restaurant does not take bookings (ever!) so that it remains accessible to everyone; it has long tables and customers are encouraged to sit and chat to the people around them; and there is only one meal on the menu each day in order to reduce food waste and ensure all their ingredients are used effectively.

During their talk they revealed a couple of hard-hitting statistics:

  • In 2022, 25% of people ate with someone only once per week
  • 1/3 of all food grown and produced is never eaten

Quite unbelievable…

How often do you sit down and eat with your team? Or your family? How valuable do you find the conversations that you have around the table?

At ICC, we always eat together at lunch-time and we have some of our most illuminating conversations in that space. Ideas are thrown around, stories from the weekend are chewed over (excuse the pun!) and future plans are cooked up (yep, that’s another pun!).

If you don’t already eat together as a team, we encourage you to choose a day and give it a go, and if you’re based close to Stroud, then why not have that meal at The Long Table?

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