Iqbal Wahhab OBE is a successful entrepreneur and skilled restaurateur who founded the Cinnamon Club and Roast, both successful London restaurants with international reputations.

For more than a decade our client played an active role in tackling social problems. This was primarily in his own personal capacity. Iqbal wanted to explore whether it was possible to grow his restaurant business putting social objectives at the core of his business, rather than as a side activity. His focus was on creating employment and supporting entrepreneurship among disadvantaged groups, particularly ex-offenders and black and minority ethnic women.


The Good Economy was commissioned to carry out a social value assessment of Roast’s activities and provide recommendations on how Roast could scale-up its social impact and integrate social value creation into its core business strategy.

This project was of particular interest to The Good Economy because we believe the potential of SMEs to create social value is all too often overlooked. Given SMEs account for 99% of UK businesses, there has been a disproportionate focus on the role of large corporates and social enterprises in creating social value. Many SME business owners are socially-minded and, therefore, are well placed to deliver social impacts.

Our work included creating a social value model, carrying out stakeholder interviews, analysing social outcome data and developing a social value scorecard so the company's social performance could be assessed and benchmarked.


Our social impact assessment provided an analysis of how this restaurant business could create social value at three levels:

• being a good employer

• helping tackle social problems through business practices, such as employing ex-offenders and supplier contracts with social enterprises

• being a champion of the potential role of restaurants, and businesses more generally in delivering positive social change.

The inclusion of our wider stakeholders has been a development directly driven by the results of The Good Economy report.
Iqbal Wahhab, OBE, Founder of Roast