A Lichfield chef is branching out in a bid to keep his business ticking over during the coronavirus lockdown.
Liam Dillon has seen his restaurant The Boat forced to shut as part of the nationwide restrictions.
But rather than wait for the doors to reopen, he has decided to launch a street food venture.
Liam’s Fried Chicken will operate on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm and serve until stocks run out.
“I wanted to do something that’s a little different – I don’t think I would be able to box up what we do at The Boat and send it out or have it ready for collection.
“I’ve worked very hard over the three years to get The Boat to where it is and I don’t think The Boat at home would work – it’s not a bistro, I can’t just send out braises and terrines to warm up at home and say it’s a true representation of my work.”
“But I wanted to have a bit of fun and keep morale up at the same time bring what money we can in to cover paying for the staff to be on furlough and the fixed costs that are still banging on the door.
“The Boat is a large site and with that comes large costs. I am very open with my team about what it takes to run a restaurant, and they are helping me because they know it’s a hard situation to be in.”Liam Dillon
As well as keeping his business ticking over, Liam admitted that his new venture was also giving him a chance to get his teeth into a challenge.
“It’s a massive learning curve to have a stab at fast food with very different obstacles to get around.
“But week on week our offering becomes better and our ordering and collection process becomes smoother.
“The first week, I’m not going to lie, was a little bit rushed and unplanned. I have slowed it down and it’s really doing well.
“The support has been amazing and I want to thank everyone that has ordered from us so far.”Liam Dillon
Despite seeing the popularity of his fried chicken venture rise, food fans will need to be quick if they want to get their hands on Liam’s latest creations.
“We’re running this through November as our new pop up venture, but it definitely won’t be something that we continue at The Boat.
“Our mindset is the same where we use great ingredients, but they are two very different offerings that will continue to be kept at arm’s length from each other.”Liam Dillon
More details about the venture are available via Instagram.