- Website Development
- UX Design
- Brand Development
Need we remind you? March 2020 upended everyone’s businesses, plans and lives. With restaurants and diners shut, schools closed and many UK citizens finding themselves struggling to access their daily meals, a team of innovators came together to connect the dots and create a solution to this catalyst of issues.
Together they founded Open Kitchens. A platform that connects restaurants and their communities to produce and distribute nutritious meals to those who need them; funded and powered by local people. Their mission? To help British citizens access nutritious food without risking their lives.
In April 2020, Open Kitchens started to utilise closed restaurant kitchens to cook and deliver free meals to those who needed them. It started with a simple three-step process.
Restaurants pledged via the website, to produce meals for their community. They defined how many meals they'd cook against a budget of £1.85 each.
2. Crowd Fund
Ingredient & production costs were covered by crowdfunding. Local communities could donate these costs.
Through community promotion of the service, they helped Open Kitchens to find those in need, in real-time. Volunteers sign-up as 'Delivery Angels' to distribute meals under a reduced-transmission model. Restaurants engage their audiences through social media to create awareness and find out who needed the meals.
Building a platform for good
The team here at Strafe Creative were honoured to be involved in such an important, impactful project and so we got to work on the design and technical innovation required!
Open Kitchens couldn't function without the hard work of the Strafe team, they've helped us create something which is truly making a difference.
Director, Open Kitchens
To bring the Open Kitchens brand to life across the technology platforms, we created a user interface (UI) kit that gave our designers clear direction. Each aspect of the Open Kitchens experience was functional yet branded beautifully.
This collated all the information about food and logistics including allergies and quantities. Companies that donated ingredients could load up this information, and then restaurants could choose what they wanted and ‘claim it’.
Once the meals were cooked, restaurants could request a ‘hub’ to look after them in fridges or freezers. Thanks to the real-time updates, it offered a huge upgrade to the manual phone calls and excel spreadsheets many other meal-delivery charities had.
The brains behind the food requests. A ‘Deliveroo’ style app allowed those that needed meals to request a delivery immediately, either via mobile or a web application. They could indicate which kind of food they preferred and any dietary or delivery requirements e.g. leave it on the doorstep and ring the bell.
Delivery Angels (drivers) App
On the other side volunteers could easily sign up to offer their delivery services. Once logged in, the drivers could ‘switch on’ their availability and choose a job to do. They’d see a route plotted on the map, showing the location of the meals for collection and the drop-off addresses.
An in-app chat feature allowed the drivers to connect with the customer to help overcome any delivery issues. These customers were typically very vulnerable, so coming directly to the front door wasn’t always an option.
Thanks to the development of this technology, the project grew to be bigger than any of the team ever expected. To support the growth, the team built some essential partnerships with other charities and large organisations.
One pivotal partner was the Greenwood Academy Trust, which helped identify over 700 vulnerable children, impacted by the pandemic. Over 8 weeks we were able to support the delivery of 52,000 meals to these pupils.
Charity partners that also came on board included Felix, who delivers fresh ingredients across London, The YMCA and Fareshare, the country’s largest food charity.
Private section partners included Hilton Hotels who allowed the team to store ready-made meals in their fridges/freezers. CapitalOne were also heavily involved in funding 25,000 meals, plus Nottingham Forest FC and many other independent restaurants we know and love across the UK.
Open Kitchens combines technology and community to deliver, quite literally, results. This is a true demonstration that with the right technology, people and funding behind it, the charity sector can have a much more powerful impact on the world and ultimately increase the number and quality of the services they provide.
The team had such success, 55 kitchens, donations of over £450,000 and more than 270,000 meals behind them, the team hope to deliver, expand and get more food to those who really need it no matter what the future holds.