24 hour dining 40 floors up - the staff experience!

Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle

Other 18th August 2016

24 hour dining 40 floors up - the staff experience!

24 hour dining 40 floors up!
Photography By HENRY HARGREAVES, Words By HENRY HARGREAVES

Fifteen years ago when I first visited London, last call in London was 11 pm. Decent late night dining possibilities were near zero, aside from a few after-hour curry houses, where you were more likely to get in a fight than have a good feed.

Duck and Waffle reflects how things have changed since then and how a more mature late night dining scene has arrived in London. I spoke with Executive Chef Tom Cenci and joined the team at 2.30 in the morning for their middle-of-the-night staff meal.

AN ELEVATED EXPERIENCE
You take a glass elevator 40 stories up the side of the building. It gives you the most euphoric feeling coming up to this height, seeing the view and walking in our space. However we don't take this for granted or merely rely on the unique setting as being enough for our customers, we want to give them a completely amazing experience. Our owner tells us to imagine we are cooking for people eating in a basement. We want to blow them away with the food so they keep coming back. We take this approach to our cuisine and the bonus is you also see right across the top of London.

THE LATE NIGHT CROWD
We have been here for four years now and were relative pioneers of the inner-city London food scene. As things began to change we wanted to bring something different to this area and meet people’s evolving demands. There are travelers passing through Liverpool station, late night drinkers looking for a meal, theatre goers, bankers and city workers. We sometimes do over 400 covers from midnight until breakfast so there clearly is a demand for these dining hours.

REAL PRIDE IN THE STAFF MEAL
A lot of places serve a really unappetizing staff meal plus hospitality workers tend not to eat very well when they buy food themselves on their break in a rush. We take real pride in what we serve and try to provide a healthy and balanced meal to our workers that’s also not boring. It gives me a thrill when I see the workers eyes light up when they see what’s being served for the staff meal.

THE WAY EVERYONE EATS HERE
We do three staff meals a day. Our sister restaurant SUSHISAMBA is downstairs and we share a staff canteen on the 6th floor next to our corporate offices. We have over 350 staff between us, so during the day two meals are served downstairs buffet style, but at night we can’t take the staff off the floor to send down there. Instead we offer a family style meal so staff come in when they have a moment’s downtime and have someone available to cover their section. We serve this in the private dining room.

A RICH CULTURAL STEW
London has become such a culturally diverse city and you see this reflected in our staff who come from all over the world. This sitting allows them a moment of downtime to talk and get to know each other and so find out more about where they come from and their culture.
Duck and Waffle

THE MENU
Chicken curry
Sagaloo
Pompoms
Lime yoghurt
Fresh flat bread
Rice

Read the full story here - www.staff-meals.com/duck-and-waffle#duck-and-waffle-01

Find Duck and Waffle - duckandwaffle.com

Thanks to Colin Goedecke, The story developer

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you