Frontline workers’ receive free food from Midlothian restaurants

Midlothian restaurants Itihaas and Radhuni gave away 3,000 meals to front line pandemic workers in just three days last week.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 7:12 am
Itihaas and Radhuni gave away 3,000 meals to front line pandemic workers in just three days. Photo by Gavin Hill.

The campaign by the award-winning Indian-Bangladeshi restaurants in Dalkeith and Loanhead went viral, reaching almost 100,000 people on social media.

The free meals were handed out to police, fire brigade and ambulance workers, NHS and care home staff, teachers, postmen and women, delivery drivers and supermarket employees. This was before the Scottish Government banned collections from restaurants.

“Although the hospitality industry has been brought even further to its knees we used grants received from the Government to fund the giveaways,” said Matin Khan, chief executive of both restaurants.

“We felt it would be selfish to use that money when so many key workers are putting in such tremendous efforts to fight the virus and save lives.”

Referring to supermarket and delivery workers, his son Habibur, managing partner of Radhuni, added: “These forgotten heroes and heroines rarely receive the thanks they deserve. How would we get our food and other household supplies if it wasn’t for them?”

He said NHS staff had been particularly welcome at Itihaas and Radhuni. “It was great to chat to them, check they were ok and sobering to listen to their harrowing tales from the front line,” he added.

Both restaurants are now handing over takeaway orders to paying customers via service hatches, and delivering meals to their homes.

Matin Khan, a former Scottish Curry Chef of the Year, commented: “It has been humbling to use our family business to give something back to the community in these dreadful times. I’m grateful to our staff for making this all possible.”