“I’ve had plans, not even of having a restaurant but having an egalitarian business model. That is
With 17 years experience working in what he calls “transitory restaurant jobs” Groves had something different in mind for his neighbourhood eatery. Having his employees feel like they were working with him, not for him, was just as important as serving really good food.
“If I can pay everyone well and myself well it makes so much more sense than paying myself really well and paying everyone else not so well—then they don’t have satisfaction or care about the place and it just becomes another restaurant,” he says, adding that staff will be cross-trained in all front-of-house and
Red Lunchbox will serve plant-based, whole food-focused dishes avoiding anything processed or meat substitutes and supporting local farmers and producers. Its sample menu hints at dishes like kombucha chimichurri gnocchi,
“The idea is to show that vegetables can be comforting and warm and filling,” says Groves. “and you could have every meal and really never think about the meat or animal component.”