Sunday roast kings take up residency at the Wenlock & Essex pub

Glen Halsey and Mike Matthews from RoastHost

Glen Halsey and Mike Matthews are the duo behind RoastHost which brings click and collect Sunday roasts to the Wenlock & Essex in Essex Road Islington - Credit: RoastHost

After building a loyal customer base in Brighton, RoastHost duo Glen Halsey and Mike Matthews have opened a second rotisserie at the Wenlock & Essex in Islington. Customers can order "a proper gastro Sunday lunch with all the trimmings" Thursday-Sunday including cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, ethically sourced chicken, beef and pork and vegetarian, vegan, gluten free options. Click and collect or delivery options available at https://www.roasthost.co.uk/

Q The Roast Host concept is 'keep it simple'?

A: We use high quality ingredients cooked well. It is as simple as that. The organic chicken is roasted on a rotisserie. The carrots are seasoned and then roasted. By keeping it simple the food is unfussy, but really tasty and the same quality every time. Each dish can be purchased separately so it’s super flexible. Customers can buy just the vegetables and cook the main dish at home or the whole roast including gravy from us.  

Q: How difficult has the last year been?

A: Like everyone in the hospitality industry it's been a complete challenge and very difficult to navigate. To launch a business a week before the first lockdown was tough physically and mentally. We were having to adapt and respond every day. However, one of the upsides was clearly the growth in the takeaway market which suited our business model really well. We had to pivot quickly from any kind of dine-in offer to the 100 percent delivery and click and collect service. We feel that because we got through the last year and even thrived - we can get through anything ! 


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Q: Why open in Islington?

A: Expansion has always been part of the RoastHost plan. An opportunity arose in Islington and we jumped at it. We love the area, its vibe and we hope our food will appeal to the locale. Islington's demographic suits our customer profile. We are delivering via Ubereats and Deliveroo, as well as click & collect. Post lockdown we will also be serving food in the pub restaurant.

A ceramic bowl of cabbage slaw

Cabbage slaw from the RoastHost team - Credit: Hung Quach / Stocksy United

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Q: People have loved ordering restaurant quality food to eat at home, will that trend continue after lockdown?

A: Yes I think the culture of eating out and entertaining has changed so deeply. The delivery and click/collect market has broadened to people who were not familiar with it. It has become a cultural norm. People now see it as an easier and acceptable option to eating out. The pandemic has also created a huge behaviour change and level of caution that will not simply disappear, even with a vaccine roll out. 

Glen Halsey and Mike Matthews are the duo behind RoastHost offering click and collect Sunday roasts at the Wenlock & Essex 

Glen Halsey and Mike Matthews are the duo behind RoastHost offering click and collect Sunday roasts at the Wenlock & Essex in Essex Road Islington - Credit: RoastHost

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: In the short term, for us all to get out and about again will be excellent. In the longer term we are planning to expand RoastHost in London and the UK. 

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