News

Travers tackles food waste with its free canteen

By on
13

Office café to provide three meals a day from September

Travers Smith has become the latest law firm to step up its sustainability efforts, with its office canteen to provide free meals for its workers in a bid to minimise food waste.

The City player will provide limited evening dinning this summer before a full launch in September for all its workers — lawyers and business service professionals alike.

According to Edmund Reed, the firm’s managing partner, the decision is driven by a “desire to create a really enjoyable and fun space where everyone can gather to socialise or work together whilst simultaneously getting great coffee and food.”

But the free grub is also part of a bid to reduce food waste, which the firm says will support its sustainability goals.

Part of this goal sees the firm, which scored an A* for ‘eco-friendliness’ in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, operate ‘Meat free Mondays’ and ‘Use up Fridays’.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Use up Fridays, for example, sees the canteen use frozen leftovers into new meals for Friday. This includes straining unused yoghurt to make dips and condiments, or turning leftover bananas into muffins.

Commenting on the initiative, Reed said:

“Not charging for meals has also allowed us to focus on food which is both delicious and healthy meaning not only do our people eat well, but as a business we produce minimal waste which supports our sustainability goals.”

In the recent years, the legal profession has pushed sustainability efforts further than ever before, with a raft of City firms announcing lower carbon targets. Reed Smith also recently rolled out its ‘industry-first’ policy of counting ‘sustainability hours’ towards billing targets.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, news and careers advice:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter

13 Comments

Anonymous

Many firms offer free meals in their kitchens not sure why Travers has decided to push this story everywhere. It’s a pretty average perk.

What’s next, advertising work phones as perks too..

Trainee at Travers Swole LLP

Horsec*ck mate.

Getting a nutritious AND free meal so that you can get mad diesel shredded before hitting the beaches of Tulum is not the same as some free choc-chip cookies they stock at sweaty pits like Kirkland.

Now excuse me, gotta stack some 45s on that rack and press out twenty before my next conference call.

Anonymous

It’s an initiative to get people into the office away from WFH, and grandstanding detracting from the relatively long hours (they’re probably served brekkie at 8am and dinner at 7 or 8 – big whoop as other firms allow you to eat from anywhere in the evenings). And the fact they scarcely pay more than Eversheds nowadays. I honestly don’t understand their USP; I think it’s something to do with some silver circle medallion or prestige or something or other from 30 years ago.

Also really small point: their entrance and building is really on “Cock Lane”, not “Snow Hill”, they just think Snow Hill sounds nicer than the more appropriate one.

Travers Insider

As someone who works at Travers Smith, this is completely incorrect.

Free breakfast and lunch have been in place since 2020 and breakfast (with multiple amazing options) is served from 8am-11am daily with a full, nutritious and healthy lunch service starting from 11:30 until around 2:30pm. We also get free barista style coffee and snacks pretty much all day.

Everyone at Travers loves this initiative as it allows us to a) save lots of money we’d otherwise be spending on food and b) actually get to spend time together and talk when we eat.

Your negativity is quite astounding.

Just pay us more Travers

Definitely NOT everyone at Travers loves this. Because it’s now free nobody complains, but it’s mostly not of a quality you’d be willing to pay for and the options are far fewer than when did pay. The dinner service is so the firm can stop our Deliveroo spend and will probably be leftovers from lunch. The only people I ever see spending time together and talking in Braithwaites are trainees and business services.

Twelve angry horses and one confused duck

Travers won’t make you partner bro

Associate

I like the sound of that a lot. I work at a firm that has got rid of its cafe with similar options and replaced it with a lackluster Benugo cafe that is barely open and sells stale, uninspiring food with zero variety or rotation. My health is deteriorating.

Non-London Scumbag

“Nutritious”, “barista style coffee” suspiciously similar to the language used in the various puff pieces on this. Travers marketing team earning their corn… even though it’s now apparently free.

Archibald O'Pomposity

Is there any reason why they don’t open this canteen to the homeless and hungry? That would come closer to ensuring zero wastage, of which I expect there is plenty, even though the food is recycled.

And why not set up a ‘takeaway-style foodbank’, where the remaining food is parcelled out in polystyrene containers to the desperate after dinner? Instead of CSR being a lip-service initiative owned and promoted only by the marketing team, the managing partners could take turns to stand on Cock Lane and give food to the needy.

Anon

The firm does a huge amount with the Felix Project.

Mr Five Per Cent

Err, yeah, because who would want those people in a business premises?

Non-London Scumbag

Your idea is a great one, but Travers is only interested in virtue signalling and not at all interested in actually doing anything virtuous.

US lackey

Is it normal for my top-paying US firm not to have a canteen/seating area at all, and to make us have to expense everything with 2-3 weeks to reimburse? Trying to decide whether or not to jump ship based off the things that really matter.

Join the conversation

Related Stories