StreetSmart: Restaurant-led charity, made simple

After 25 years and over £12 million raised, StreetSmart grows its restaurant partners

Over the past 25 years, one charity has used a simple opt-in method at some of the UK’s best restaurants to raise over £12 million in aid of targeted homeless support across Britain. The StreetSmart formula is simple enough: one pound per table is added to a diners’ bill during the months of November and December. That’s it.

Each year, the initiative raises considerable funds, usually totalling over £500,000 and for the participating restaurants, the set up and delivery of the scheme couldn’t be more straightforward.

Supported by LandAid, StreetSmart ensures that 100% of the money raised during this period goes towards local homeless initiatives, from Ace of Clubs in South London to Centrepoint Manchester: all the money raised goes directly to these partners.

The after-effects of the pandemic are far from a distant memory for Britain’s homeless. The vicious cycle of having no fixed or permanent address has knock-on consequences beyond a lack of physical security. For example, it can lead to an inability to set up a bank account, meaning receiving state support is nearly impossible.

Such challenges, coupled with the energy and cost of living crisis has only served to exacerbate the problem, with no-fault evictions, plus squeezes on universal credit and benefits all impacting homelessness. The problem of so-called ‘hidden homelessness’ – wherein people sofa surf but don’t sleep rough – has also risen, contributing to a 13% increase in total homelessness in the UK (figures are a challenge to confirm, as so many homeless people are entirely undocumented).

StreetSmart offers the chance for restaurants to engage with their local communities, supporting a wonderful charitable initiative in an easy-to-manage fashion. Fundraisers can often be labour intensive, but at a time when staff in restaurants are already busier than usual, the value of partnering with StreetSmart is that the legwork has already been done.

The voluntary £1 donation can be easily removed from the bill if requested. However, more often than not, the feedback from diners is overwhelmingly positive. In short, StreetSmart offers low-touch, high-impact solution which operates only at a very specific time of year.

StreetSmart is an elegantly simple way to make a difference. It’s never been more vital and I’d urge every restaurant that can to sign up and support it.” Jimi Famurewa, chief restaurant critic at The Evening Standard

To learn more, or to sign your restaurant up to StreetSmart this year, please click here, or contact

Share this article: