Feast It

Black Lives Matter: an update on our commitment to action

It’s over a year since the brutal killing of George Floyd, a day that correctly provoked a global outpouring of anger and soul-searching around the ingrained racism in society.

At that point, we spent a lot of time listening to others, educating ourselves and considering how we could take meaningful actions, which led to our commitment to action.

Since then, Feast It has strived to continue creating a culture of inclusivity by championing the Black-owned businesses that are part of our supplier community and ensuring that all aspects of our business are unbiased.

We know that actions speak louder than words, so read on below to hear about the steps we’ve already taken to meet our commitment and what we’ll be working towards over the next 6 months.

What we’re doing…

Anti-racism, diversity and inclusion group: Each month, this group meets to discuss education, new learnings and to create a roadmap for fostering inclusivity across the business. They discuss everything from hiring processes to content and social media. Ideas, feedback, and conversation are encouraged from every Feast It team member to ensure all voices are heard and represented.

We’ve also created an anti-racism library for our team and gave everyone a budget to buy materials like films and books that they can use to educate themselves.

Supporting the black-owned businesses we work with: We consciously work to make our content inclusive and celebratory of the black-owned businesses we partner with. Everything we share with our audiences should represent and champion all members of our community, so we’ve taken steps to diversify the imagery and language used across our website, social media and brochures.

We’re also working to better understand the background of our suppliers by collecting gender and ethnicity information on our sign up form. This allows us to understand the diversity of our community and where we can strive to make improvements for our suppliers.

Supporting our local community in Tower Hamlets: We’ve joined the government’s ‘Kickstart Scheme’, which provides funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. We’re a Tower Hamlets based business, and we’re excited to bring young people from this community onto our team and set them up for longer-term employment.

We’re also in talks with Troy Johnson, one of the founders of Juici Jerk, about how we can help out with his wonderful foundation, The Black British Foodies Fund. So keep your eyes peeled for an update soon.

Re-evaluating our employment process: We’ve diversified the job boards and platforms we share roles with and have removed profile pictures and any other images from job applications to ensure bias is eliminated from our hiring process. We’ve also diversified our interview panels, and we’re assessing other hiring platforms that offer more tools to measure and reduce bias.

We’ll soon be hiring a ‘head of people’ to help us strengthen our diverse hiring practices.

Auditing our sales process and tech, including our supplier-matching algorithm: We’ve given new suppliers complete control of their onboarding process, including their public profiles. In addition, suppliers can now choose to upload a photo of themselves or their business logo to remove bias from customers discovering and booking suppliers.

What we’ll do…

Run annual fundraising workshops to connect black-owned businesses with potential investors: There’s been minimal fundraising taking place in the events industry over the last year so this isn’t something we’ve managed to get started. Still, it remains an initiative we’re committed to, either virtually or in person, and we’re looking forward to kicking this off soon.

Seek advice and education: We see fundamental importance in seeking advice and input from those more knowledgeable. So we’re speaking to several experts in diversity and inclusion who will run sessions with and give talks to our team.

Partner with more charities and NGOs: We’ll partner with local and national organisations supporting underrepresented groups to ensure we’re championing and supporting our community.

Contact every business we use for day to day business activity to understand their commitment to anti-racism and diversity: We partner with many organisations to ensure the smooth running of our business across sales, email, marketing, data, etc. We’re committed to following up with each of them to understand what they’re doing to support anti-racism and diversity.

We've been encouraged to see many make commitments, but we aim to do a comprehensive audit to ensure we choose the right partners for our business.

Launch a volunteer scheme for our team: Our team will be given 2 days off work each year to volunteer with charitable organisations. This is something we can’t wait to get started. We’re looking into both in-person and virtual volunteering opportunities, so we can help even if Covid restrictions continue.