NHS doctor delivers meals in his free time to help struggling restaurants

Dr Jitendra (Jeet) Mangwani is, in many ways, a real life superhero.

Not only is he helping patients by day, but he’s also using his extra hours to deliver restaurant meals to customers by night – to help keep small businesses afloat.

Like other NHS heroes, the consultant orthopaedic surgeon has been rushed off his feet over the past few months treating patients during the pandemic.

But somehow he’s also found the time to help his local Leicester restaurants with their delivery.

Some of these restaurants have found it difficult to stay open with popular delivery services such as Deliveroo and JustEat. And after speaking to a few of his friends in the industry towards the end of last year, Dr Jeet realised the problems they were facing.

He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I have friends who own and run restaurants and they said about certain delivery services not being fit for their restaurants. 

‘Particularly the ones that are “fine dining experience” restaurants trying to do delivery – they can’t cook meals in 10 minutes and have a 25 minutes turnaround. And on top of that, some of these services charge around 25-30% of the bill that you and I pay.’

Dr Jeet – who has worked in the NHS for the past 20 years – therefore suggested the idea of a service run by volunteers.

He explains: ‘It works and is more cost effective for them.

‘With the other delivery services, they were having issues with either the food not being delivered or one of the dishes going missing en route. Obviously restaurants have to refund for all of that.’

Following that conversation, it was all hands on deck.

Dr Jeet gave Leicester’s Kayal and Herb restaurants his availability at evenings and weekends and then used his car to deliver meals to hungry customers.

Oonce the word got out, the doctor soon got bookings from familiar faces.

He added: ‘I was getting text messages from people who knew me to say they had done a request for a delivery that day and they’d like me to come and deliver it.

‘My clientele went up from being a few every evening to quite a few, so I delivered to a lot of people – like my colleagues and patients. 

‘It was a nice outing for me – I was enjoying it. It was nice to see familiar faces and chat for five minutes, all socially distanced.’

The medic adds that he’s happy to help out, as he would have hated to see his local restaurants close.

‘The restaurants do high-quality Indian and South Indian food. It would be devastating to see those guys shut their business,’ he says.

‘And it does help to get the word out because I think a lot of people think that a lot of these places are not doing anything and are closed.’

Now, more doctors, nurses and medical staff are offering their spare time to help with deliveries.

‘We all have a bit of time over the weekend as we are not going anywhere, like having holidays or anything,’ he adds.

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