London’s most popular Afghan barbecue specialist (not a massively crowded field, to be fair) Cue Point has today announced a major new social enterprise to help refugees.
Cue Point Kitchen will create a ‘kitchen for change’, inviting Lonon’s refugees and immigrants to learn about running a business in hospitality, how to cook Cue Point’s food and other essential skills to give them a leg up in the restaurant and catering industry.
Mursal Saiq, co-founder of Cue Point, explained the reasoning behind the initiative: ‘So many [refugees] fall into the lower rungs of the hospitality industry as it’s the largest employer of racialised individuals in the UK. But at the lower levels [there is] no growth in generational wealth or prospects.’ In other words, you might get a job, but you won’t get a career, and, as the last year has demonstrated, you will remain among the absolutely most vulnerable employees in the capital.
Cue Point’s Crowdfunder campaign launched at 9am today (Monday June 21) and aims to raise £30k to get the project under way. Mursal said: ‘Why would a food company do something like this? And I would say because food is a universal truth, that is passed from generation to generation and which defines a nation or a culture. And so much of culture and identity is being eroded now.’
Mursal came to the UK from war-torn Afghanistan in the 1990s. She met her partner, chef Josh Moroney, who is of mixed British-Guyanese heritage and who has worked at Smokestak and Shotgun, and set up Cue Point in 2017. From the beginning, Cue Point has put employability, representation and training at the heart of its business. Through lockdown, their barbecue kits have been a nationwide smash, and they have also managed to launch the UK’s first drive-thru barbecue restaurant, which sounds, erm, sticky.
If London’s learned anything from 2020, it’s that our food and drink culture is key to our city, but is also very fragile, especially for the most disadvantaged people who work in it. An initiative like Cue Point kitchen could be a real game-changer for it, so why not get behind it?
£38 for a fry-up, are you joking? London’s most expensive breakfasts.