Hot Doggers Cafe
A popular non-profit cafe on Spring Bank has suddenly closed mid-service sparking discussion. The cafe, which says it raises money for Project Hotdog, has suddenly shut its doors claiming the cafe is receiving a refurbishment and repairs.
On Friday morning the cafe was advertising its usual Friday Special of fish and chips. Between then and its usual closing time the cafe abruptly shut.
At 7pm that evening, with no prior hint or suggestion, the cafe announced on its Facebook page that it was closing for a few weeks for planned repairs and refurbishments.
Strangely, at the beginning of this week, they announced they would be open throughout this week including Sunday. If plans were made for refurbishment then why would they announce that they are open this weekend?
The announcement coincided with what would be almost their second anniversary. which also happens to be around the time of the Council’s health inspections.
Hull City Council usually performs these inspections around 18-24 monthly, and the cafe’s last inspection was December 2016.
Although nothing has been confirmed there have been startling messages from ex-volunteers of some extremely unhealthy practises occurring at the cafe.
We are still waiting for confirmation from the Council regarding the health inspection and if this was the reason for the sudden closure.
Hot Doggers Cafe makes claim to be a non-profit on its Facebook page, with proceeds going towards their sister project “Project Hotdog”. However we have also received some, verified, messages being sent from one of the company directors. The messages seem to suggest that not all money is being accounted for correctly.
Chris Winn is one of the directors of Hot Doggers Cafe. He works long hours in the cafe, though he also needs to claim sickness benefits. Chris has managed to afford several luxury holidays and even an expensive ring for his partner in the last year. Disturbingly a further message says that Chris has almost a thousand pounds of the company’s money and has been spending it.
When Project Hotdog was originally set up it had all the right intentions, including feeding the many needy homeless people of our city. However in the past year the situation seems to have changed to one of personal gain over helping those in need.
The sudden closure of the cafe has sparked serious questions regarding the current intentions of the non-profit, which has operated as a limited company since inception. Surely a company with charitable aims should be interested in going through the process of registering as either a Charity or a Charitable Interest Company (CIC)? As the current state of the company is that of any Limited company they do not get scrutinised as thoroughly as a Charity or CIC, or held accountable for their actions as stringently.