Disappearing Dining Club was launched by Stuart Langley in October 2010 “after too many years working for other people in bars, restaurants and members’ clubs in London, Melbourne and Ibiza, and innumerable music festivals across the UK”. Currently he runs numerous gastronomical experiences such as back in 5 Minutes, a restaurant inside a clothes shop on Brick Lane, dinner parties in unusual and surprising spaces in London and food holidays in Devon and Ibiza. Although it is a business with a focus on profit, Disappearing Dining Club is committed to more than just food and drinks. They recently started using their dinner parties to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Stuart Langley explains why this community initiative is a part of the Disappearing Dining Club philosophy.
Here are Stuart Langley’s Top 5 reasons for giving back:
1. It’s Your Business – so why not make it a really good business?
Disappearing Dining Club is a for profit enterprise. We want to make money. We want to make good money. But we want to make that money in ways that we think are ‘right’. This includes how we look after our guests, how we price our food, how we train our staff, but also why we raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust along the way. We do it because we can, because it’s a good thing to do, and because I think it’s my responsibility to try and make DDC the best kind of business it can be.
2. Word of Mouth – feed the machine
We want people to talk about us and recommend us to their friends. It’s good if people think about us as more than just a place for food and drink. DDC is a place for music, a place for spaces, a place for discovery, a place to meet new people and make new friends. There should always be something new and a reason to come and visit us for the first, second, third or fifteenth time. Raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust is another thing that we and our guests can talk about.
3. Good people support good people
As a small businesses, you need ambassadors to help you grow. People with skills, connections, resources and networks that can be shared with you, just because they like what you do. I hope that connecting DDC with a charity at a very early stage has shown us to be a ‘good’ company run by ‘good’ people, and that other ‘good’ people will recognise that. I have numerous helpers, advisors and mentors who have donated time and effort to help DDC become a better business. I think the work we do with Teenage Cancer Trust has helped like-minded people to identify us as good people to work with.
4. Align yourself with future partners
Lots of businesses support charities, and when I was looking to work with a charity I was very aware of the other businesses we might end up becoming associated with. For me it had to be a cancer charity (my family has a longstanding and somewhat unfortunate relationship with the Big C), and I liked the idea that the money DDC raised would go to actual care – rather than just research. It also introduced us to, or extended our relationship with other companies and brands that support TCT including Ben Sherman. It can’t hurt to be working with people you respect towards a common goal.
5. Karma – be excellent to each other
I don’t believe in karma – but I do believe in how incredibly wrong I am about a lot of things. So why not keep on the right side of karma eh?
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