Ed's Easy Diner, Andrew Guy, MBE, Action against hunger, world hunger, charity, famine, fund raising, juke box,

Congratulations to Eds Easy Diner's Andrew Guy on MBE

Did you know that all the money you put into the juke boxes at Ed’s Easy Diner goes to Action Against Hunger? 

By Karen Attwood

Mar 17 2016

Ed’s, the 1950s style chain of diners, is a great supporter of our life-saving work and Andrew Guy, the chief executive of Ed’s has now received an MBE in recognition for this support, and his impressive 40-year career in the hospitality sector. 

Ed’s Easy Diner was also the recent winner of the Social Responsibility category of the Casual Dining Restaurant and Pub Awards 2016. The Award is given to a company within the sector for its achievements in championing social responsibility and it recognised Ed’s Easy Diner’s support as Action Against Hunger’s charity partner.

Matt White, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Action Against Hunger UK, said: “We would like to offer our most heartfelt congratulations to Andrew on being awarded an MBE. Andrew has been a great supporter of Action Against Hunger’s work for a number of years, and as well as being recognised for his work in industry, receiving this award is testament to Andrew’s long standing commitment to charitable activities." 

“We’re proud to be a charity partner of Ed’s Easy Diner and we’re hugely grateful for their support which is helping to save the lives of malnourished children around the world. Thank you Andrew and congratulations from everyone at Action Against Hunger on this well-deserved recognition.”

We recently caught up with Andrew to quiz him about his MBE, Ed’s and his involvement in charities. 

Congratulations on your MBE, how does it feel?

Firstly, it was a great surprise. You don’t think these things are going to go on. It takes four or five people to write letters and one person to be the coordinator. Although I know it is for my contribution to the hospitality industry and charity, the truth is it must be related to charity work.

What does Action Against Hunger mean for Ed’s Easy Diner?

We’ve raised around £143,000 to date. I think that when we look at the majority of our employees, and we have over a 1000 people working for us now, 80 per cent of them are under 25. I think there is something about the credibility and the social engagement of a company that idealistic young people appreciate. They are not just working like mad for the enrichment of the owners but for a business that organises itself to give back to a charity. I think that Action Against Hunger appeals to young people because it is a world charity, it is something they can identify with and world hunger is something they are aware of as a problem. It appeals to young people who like to know the juke box money is going to the charity and they can also organise fundraising activities, from sky dives and hiking to the tops of Snowdon, to half marathons, the staff have done it all.

Two Ed’s employees, Ian Beardsmore, General Manager, Ed’s Easy Diner, Liverpool and Cheshire Oaks, and Chris Stewart, General Manager, Ed’s Easy Diner, Gateshead, Metro Centre, recently went to visit an Action Against Hunger project in the Kishanganj area of south eastern Rajasthan which is treating severely malnourished children and raising awareness about good nutrition and child care practices. During the trip, Ian and Chris had the opportunity to meet some of the beneficiaries of the project and to take part in community activities, such as cooking demonstrations and workshops. 

I’ve always wanted to visit India, but I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to go on this trip as I’m not the fundraiser. I want the people who do most for the charity out there in the diner to go and have this experience.

The MBE is not just for your work with Action Against Hunger. Can you tell me about the different charities you are involved with?

As well as Action Against Hunger, I am involved with Good Food Talks, which is for people with poor eyesight. It’s a little charity. They put your menu on to an app and you pick it up on the phone. Instead of struggling to have your friends read it to you can have the menu on your phone. I am a trustee of two charities of the industry - Hospitality Action, which helps people in financial difficulty and Springboard which finds work for mainly young people who are unemployed or disadvantaged and looking for a start in life. As well as being a trustee, we use them as a recruiter and we have 500 staff through Springboard so 50 per cent of our staff. 

Ed’s started out with a single diner in Soho and when it was bought by Andrew and his partners in 2009 there were three branches. Under Andrew’s leadership the company has expanded to 55 branches across the country, including as far north as Inverness, with plans to open more. Why is Ed’s so popular?

People like the idea of Ed’s - it’s nostalgic. It’s different to what other people have done or are doing. We are selling food items that people like. We’ve always gone out to hire up beat fun people on our teams and train them quite comprehensively. We’ve had a lot of recognition for service quality. I used to live in Texas and when I came back to the UK, there were not that many places where you could eat burgers. I’ve been involved with hamburgers ever since. I am a fan of Elvis and all the memorabilia. It is good fun but I also like all kinds of music. There are people who follow Ed’s and are so nuts about Elvis and that era that they dress up and only play that music. We have an online fan club that we call Ed’s club and we currently have about 1.2 million people in the fan club.
 

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