Iqbal is a highly successful London restauranteur, with a history of delivering social interventions through his businesses. He set up The Cinnamon Club in 2001, followed by Roast in 2005. He is about to open a third London restaurant, called Atticus, which will build on everything he has learned in his ventures to date and will have social value and purpose at its core from the outset.
In this episode, we talk about how Iqbal's vision of helping disadvantaged people through his businesses has developed, how this vision has helped him find the right kind of investors for his businesses and why helping people in this way is important to him. We also talk about his belief that businesses are better vehicles for addressing social problems than charities - a view he came to over years of close involvement with the voluntary sector, sitting on and in some cases chairing the boards of numerous Trusts.
Iqbal is a Director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, has advised government for over a decade, regularly writes in national papers and appears on national television as an industry figure. He was awarded an MBE in recognition of his public work and his service to the restaurant industry. It was fascinating to sit down with him to discuss the state of the industry, the realities of issues like funding new ventures in the sector, and to hear his thoughts on and hopes for the future. This episode will be interesting to a really broad audience, but especially anyone hoping to set up a business in the UK food industry who has a strong social conscience.