The Clink plans to open two prison restaurants a year, after opening its second venture in Cardiff. The group’s latest venture opened earlier this week on the grounds of HMP Cardiff, and chief executive Chris Moore said that the charity has plans to open two restaurants every year until 2016 with Greater London next on the horizon. After completing six weeks training from scratch, more than 30 prisoners with little or no background in the hospitality industry will start serving paying guests in a 96-cover restaurant later this week. The Clink Cymru is the second restaurant for the charity following the success of a site at HMP High Down in Sutton which opened in 2009 but has won plaudits for reducing re-offending rates and training high-quality restaurant employees. Speaking to M&C Report’s sister publication BigHospitality, Moore, who already has more than a quarter of a century's experience in the industry, explained the charity had ambitious plans to expand the influence of the project which has fine-tuned a five-step programme for its prisoners. “We, as The Clink Charity board, have committed to build another eight restaurants by 2016 – so that will be two a year for the next four years. The majority of those will be in public prisons – we work in partnership with HM Prison Service to select the right prison. We will be opening two restaurants in the Greater London area in 2013.” Unlike the original restaurant which employs Category B and C prisoners, Cardiff will give opportunities to Category D prisoners at HMP Cardiff and a number of others from nearby HMP Prescoed. The change means diners will be able to walk in and eat at the restaurant, which is open for breakfast and lunch, without having to make a reservation and go through tight prison security procedures. Moore said: “The charity is an extremely positive influence on the national rehabilitation of prisoners. Through the use of The Clink model we are contributing to reducing reoffending in the UK by training 35 prisoners in the restaurant and a further 15 in the farms and gardens department. Each year we hope to release 50 well trained and highly qualified graduates into employment within the hospitality and farming industry.”

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