Social Bite: Good Food for a Good Cause

Social Bite: Good Food for a Good Cause

Social Bite: Good Food for a Good Cause 1440 428 Ashley McDougall

Social Bite is a social enterprise that helps the homeless through its five sandwich shops and full-service restaurant. Founders Josh Littlejohn and Alice Thompson were inspired by the concept after reading, “Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism,” written by Nobel Peace Prize winner and economist Muhammad Yunus. The duo took a trip to Bangladesh to meet with Yunus and see firsthand the successful elements of operating a social business. Upon returning they launched Social Bite, not for profit, but for a purpose. The business donates 100% of profits from its sandwich shops and restaurant to three different charities: Shelter Scotland, a micro loan foundation in Malawi, and an eyecare hospital in Bagladesh.

The business also feeds more than 150 homeless people on a daily basis through a “suspended coffee and food” program. As a way to pay it forward, customers can pay in advance for coffee or any food item from the menu, and a local homeless person can go into the shop to claim it. Last year alone Social Bite provided more than 72,000 meals to the homeless.

The brand’s social commitment extends beyond their financial contribution by providing training and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged. In fact, 25% of the current staff were previously homeless. It’s all part of Social Bite’s mission to create a full circle solution to end the vicious cycle of the homelessness. Other initiatives like “social suppers,” where the homeless are fed and can access support services, help to create opportunities and empower individuals.

Expanding the success of Social Bite, this year they’ve started working with the Edinburgh council to create a Social Bite Village, a low cost, energy efficient housing alternative. Built in partnership with Tiny House Scotland, each 2-bedroom modular home costs roughly $37,000 to construct. In 2017, upon completion, twenty residents will get the opportunity to stay in the supervised village environment providing access to counseling, addiction therapy and budgeting advice. Residents will be able to stay up to a year before moving on to more permanent accommodation and potential employment with Social Bite.

Currently there are multiple restaurants throughout Scotland’s major cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, and it’s gained so much attention, that George Clooney and Leo Di Caprio have even become backers of the project!

Inspired to do something good? Check out our 2017 Create Good Challenge. Be inspired by those who are making a difference, and look for ways in the everyday that you can help create good.

Photo Credit: Surge | BBC | Trip Advisor | Dundee | Tiny House Swoon

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Ashley McDougall

Organized and thoughtful, Ashley keeps client teams on task and the entire process on track. Maintaining constant communcaition with clients and design teams to ensure it’s smooth sailing at all times. You can read more posts from Ashley here >


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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