As part of their ongoing volunteer programme, the team at Costa Coffee were really keen to offer their support for our event. Over 2,000 service personnel, veterans and other guests would be attending the Battle of Britain Memorial service – and everyone would want lunch. Costa’s CSR Sustainability team took it all in their stride, immediately viewing this as a problem-solving opportunity and a way to really create a great experience for all those attending the event.
Our teams felt privileged to have the opportunity to get involved with this unique event, and to give something back to the veterans who have already given so much’ – Sandy Gourlay, Charity and Community Manager, Costa
As the team wanted to do more than simply give attendees a gift card to buy their own food, they took on the logistical challenge of providing packed lunches for everyone. There was a lot to be considered, not least ensuring that all the food was freshly prepared and served within tight time constraints. On the day, 60 team members volunteered their time, from board directors through to baristas – all industriously packing lunches for the service attendees. Many of the staff that came forward to volunteer their time had connections to the RAF in one way or another, with many having grandparents who served in WWII or who had been in the RAF themselves. To help get the lunches out on time, St Paul’s Cathedral allowed the Costa volunteers use of the crypt to pack everything – a once in a lifetime opportunity. The team then calculated that they needed to pack each bag within 30 seconds – although they managed an amazing average time of 10 seconds on the day. Each of the volunteers attended the memorial service and had great feedback about the event. The event was a great opportunity for the Costa team to work together, from Baristas on the shop floor to the Managing Director.