Leon managing director Shereen Ritchie has told MCA of the brand’s ambition to reach the vulnerable and elderly as it launches a new grocery and ready meal delivery service today.

Feed Britain will initially be tested within the M25, in partnership with Covent Garden based supplier and delivery logistics company Premier Fruits.

The offering will include for boxes: a daily essentials of bread milk yoghurt, juice, butter and eggs; a market selection of fruit and veg; a family meal box of Leon favourites in ready meal form including Thai chicken, Chilli con carne and black bean stew; and a vegan family meal box, including gobi curry and Caribbean jackfruit curry.

Leon is in talks with more logistics companies and suppliers to expand the service outside London and fulfil its ambition to “Feed Britain”.

Feed Britain will donate all profits to FeedNHS during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Ritchie, who is leading the project, told MCA: “The most important thing for us was getting it live so we can help people. So many people are saying they can’t get food – the vulnerable, the elderly, people working the NHS

“All the profits go back into the NHS and helping the vulnerable and elderly.

“It’s really important we do as much as possible during this time to help.”

Ritchie said while the supermarkets were doing an admirable job, the service was about creating an additional supply chain, and going some way to replacing the many meals lost in foodservice.

She said: “50m meals a day were served out of home. Suddenly those meals need to be replaced. The supermarkets are overloaded. The restaurant industry, the suppliers and producers can’t get their produce to the people.”

The move, which follows Leon converting its restaurants into grocery stores, represents a major shift for the brand into e-commerce.

Ritchie added: “It’s a massive shift. It probably took 48 hours to switch our mindset from running rests to e-commerce.

“John [Vicent, Leon CEO] talks about being like water, being in the moment and floating. We brainstorm, we work out the blockages, and we find a way to resolve out the issues, a way for the water to run to the bottom the hill.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been really rewarding and we look forward to making a difference and helping people.”