Restaurateurs banish crackers to boost StreetSmart festive fundraising

04 Feb 2013
by Neil Skinner

A group of Nottinghamshire restaurateurs banished Christmas crackers from their tables in a bid to raise much needed funds for homeless people.

Customers eating over the festive period at Nottingham’s Riverbank Bar and Kitchen, Newark’s Farndon Boathouse and Gunthorpes’ Tom Brown’s Brasserie were advised that the more than £2,000 normally spent on crackers would instead be donated to homelessness charity Framework.

The festive fundraiser took place in addition to the restaurants’ participation in the StreetSmart scheme, a nationwide initiative, supported by Deutsche Bank, where customers are encouraged to leave a voluntary £1 donation to help homeless people in their communities.

During the Christmas and New Year period the restaurants raised a combined £4165.

Director Adam Perkins said: “The Farndon Boathouse took part in this scheme last year and it was really successful. This is the first year we have taken part as a group and it’s gone really well. The customers were happy to help and quite a few of them even asked if they could donate more.

“We came up with the cracker idea when we realised how much they were costing us. We worked out that we were spending more than £2,000 on something that people didn’t really want – nobody wears the hats and the jokes are terrible. We explained to customers that we were just giving the money to Framework instead.”

Natalie Goodrich, who coordinates the StreetSmart scheme, said: “The Street Smart scheme is now a well established national initiative and we are hugely grateful for the strong local support we receive. By throwing their cracker initiative into the mix these restaurants have really gone the extra mile this year. It is a terrific initiative and one I suspect cracker makers everywhere are hoping does not catch on!”

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