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Prison Restaurant Staffed by Inmates Voted the Best in Cardiff, Wales

The Clink has recently been named the number one restaurant in Cardiff, Wales, by TripAdvisor, after getting more votes than all the other 945 restaurants in the Welsh capital. I know that doesn’t seem like the kind of news you normally read on OC, but The Clink isn’t your average restaurant – it’s staffed by inmates at HMP Cardiff, a Category D men’s prison!

Approximately 30 prisoners work a 40-hour week at The Clink, either in the kitchen or waiting tables, before returning to their cells at the end of each day. The restaurant also employs a team of trainers who work closely with the prisoners to come up with seasonal dishes made from locally sourced fresh ingredients. Some of the typical menu options include ‘venison and wild boar ragout with game sausage, chargrilled polenta and seasonal vegetables’ and ‘a celebration of rhubarb’.The inmates are paid £14 ($20) a week, but their biggest reward is the chance to turn their life around. Over time, the restaurant has managed to help reduce the reoffending rate of prisoners who worked there to 12.5 percent, compared to the national average of 47 percent.

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Photo: WNS

The Clink, which opened in September 2012, is a 96-seat restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. It has received rave reviews from most of the users on the hugely popular travel website TripAdvisor, mostly for their ‘friendly and informative staff’. “The standard set by everyone at this venue would be hard to match in any other restaurant we have been to in recent times,” a happy diner wrote.

“The waiters were great wit perfect service – better than we have had in some star restaurants – and also attentive to your needs,” another said.

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Photo: WNS

“The whole team is delighted to have made it to the top spot on TripAdvisor, and to be ranked so highly against almost 1,000 restaurants in the city is a huge achievement for us,” said general manager Jason Lawrence. “The recognition we have received from so many of the diners for the atmosphere we’ve created, the effort we put into sourcing our ingredients, the high standard of front of house service offered by the waiters is incredible.”

“A big thank you to everyone who has left such kind comments on our page, we’ll continue to impress our customers and hope we can stay at pole position for the foreseeable future,” he added.

 

Chef Alberto Crisci, the brain behind The Clink, says the restaurant offers HM Prison Cardiff the opportunity to invite potential employers and create job opportunities for inmates, but also change public perception of prisoners.

This isn’t the first time we’re hearing of prison inmates running a successful restaurant. Last year, we wrote about Tihar Food Court in New Delhi, where the food is prepared and served by convicts serving time for murder at the city’s infamous Tihar Jail.

via South Wales Evening Post

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