The restaurant sector has been one of the very hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Industry data shows that there are around 3,000 fewer restaurants in Britain than there were in March 2020 – which is the equivalent of eight closures every day.
Since the start of this year, the trend has accelerated with the independent market suffering 2,000 closures in January and February alone.
is encouraging local chefs, restaurant owners, as well as publicans and cafe owners to join the Restaurant Collective, which is backed by the former founders of restaurant booking service Livebookings (now Bookatable
) and a number of high-profile chefs
including Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern and James Tanner of the Tanner Brothers.
A mentoring scheme will connect successful industry figures with local businesses; an exclusive online marketplace offers members great supplier deals; and the collective is also building the UK's most comprehensive Independent Restaurant Directory, promoting member restaurants to customers who care about supporting their local food businesses and eateries.
In time, this listing will also act as a digital blueprint for a restaurant's entire online presence, connecting them with major listings sites so they only ever have to update their details in one place.
Brian J Turner CBE, Restaurant Collective Patron, said:
"The ethos of hospitality has always been to bring people together and provide them with an enjoyable and memorable experience.
"That's why I believe Restaurant Collective is a fantastic initiative, bringing together independent operators all over the country to support one another.
"It's certainly something that would"ve been of great assistance to me when I started out in the industry."
is open to any local operator
from across the South East who runs a food and drink site or a small group of sites, as well as those working for larger chains who are looking to connect with and support like-minded operators.