THE owner of working lunch institutions Gaucho and M has said he’d rather eat at home if he can’t eat out with a clear conscience.
Martin Williams, the restaurateur behind Rare Restaurants, told City A.M. yesterday that he would only be serving carbon-neutral beef from now on as consumers demand more from where they’re eating.
“Our guests want guilt-free beef and we have listened – when you dine in our restaurants you can enjoy steaks knowing that they are carbon neutral,” he said, via work with farms in Argentina and with a reforestation charity in the Amazon which also serves to combat modern slavery.
“If you can’t dine out with a conscience, I’d prefer to eat at home,” he said.
The move reflects consumer demand for more transparency on their evening meal.
Williams is set to launch a new ‘M’ site at Canary Wharf later in the year in a vote of confidence for a district battered by lockdown restrictions over the last two years.
Williams told City A.M. that despite initial scepticism about the return of workers and diners to city centres after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, his restaurants have seen a 15 per cent uptick in the Square Mile on 2019 and a 30 per cent uptick on pre-pandemic levels across the group.
The announcement comes on Earth Day, with campaigners criticising the ‘air miles’ on meat products for some years.
Williams said he was delighted to hit his carbon-neutral target two years early.
Williams’ restaurants have a long-standing relationship with a project called Not for Sale, which creates sustainable solutions to break the cycle of modern slavery and sex trafficking in the Amazon. Through their reforesting programme, Rare have funded the planting of more than 4,000 trees over six projects in Peru and Brazil.