City Tastes & Tipples: Ben ‘The Bear’ keeps it fresh for the planet

Owner Ben Atkinson.
Owner Ben Atkinson.

Describing itself as “fast food with an attitude,” Bear Kitchen is a new restaurant with a refreshingly pleasant attitude to food and a real respect for the planet.

The restaurant was the brainchild of Ben Atkinson and his partner Elle Caldicott. It focuses on producing high-quality food at low prices in a sustainable environment. Ben said: “All our packaging is environmentally friendly and we’ve got 100 per cent green energy sources.

ATTITUDE: Bear Kitchen has limited seating but a wide-ranging menu.

ATTITUDE: Bear Kitchen has limited seating but a wide-ranging menu.

“Fast food doesn’t have to be terrible. We’re trying to prove a point that you can have really good quality food, not at restaurant prices.”

The family-owned business opened last August and has received exceedingly positive reviews from its visitors. Options include everything from burgers and bones to deli rolls and salads. It is situated just ten minutes from the busy city centre.

Ben said: “We want to be part of the Wakefield community and build our brand and help in the regeneration of the city. I think that Wakefield is on the cusp of something now, and it’s starting to build. There seems to be an overflow from Leeds - we’re trying to establish that it’s the place to be.”

Bear Kitchen is primarily a takeaway, but has a few seats for anyone who fancies eating in. All orders are cooked from scratch, guaranteeing food of a high quality and ensuring that each individual’s dietary needs can be catered to as necessary.

The restaurant works in partnership with Kindred Spirit to provide Urban Tapas each weekend. Ben and Elle have already been able to take on six new members of staff, and all are trained to the brand’s standards.

Responsible: All of Bear Kitchen’s food is sourced from local, sustainable sources and their energy is certified renewable. Their staff are paid above the minimum wage and work responsible hours. The owners hope that once the restaurant has taken off they will be able to develop “a bit of a cooperative feel,” in which all employees will feel as though they are a part of the business.