The sourdough restaurant says it will use the excess ingredients generated by its 40-plus restaurants to make loaves for soup kitchens, housing shelters and food charities.
Franco Manca, which was founded in 2008 and now has restaurants in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, Leeds, Manchester, Oxford, Reading and Southampton, says the scheme will begin on 9 December.
It will also be handing out pizzas to people in need following the success of a similar incentive last year, where 20,000 pizzas were distributed to shelters during the festive season.
This year it plans to double that number to 40,000 pizzas, given to those most in need.
For those people who cannot make it to the restaurant themselves, a number of staff have committed to working on Christmas Day to ensure a free collection service.
“Not only do we hope this will help those most in need for months to come, it will also support our aim to limit our food waste across the business.”
The free pizzas and bread are not just for Christmas, but will continue into 2020, confirms Akhtar.
New sites for expansion are planned for the new year, following an investment boost for the restaurant chain.
Other food chains, including Pret a Manger, also have schemes in place to help the homeless.
Pret’s ‘Rising Stars Programme’, which started in 2009, recruits formerly-homeless people to work in their shops and give them training.
In October 2019 they also opened a ‘Pret house’ – a 13 bedroom house in Kennington – for the Rising Stars to stay in.