Takeaway lobster and burger van run by Relentless at Port Solent attracts hungry punters
CUSTOMERS have been shelling out to get their hands on some of Scott Matthews’ deliciously snappy meals.
Scott usually runs Relentless HQ at Port Solent a lobster and steak restaurant which opened in 2015 after relocating from Elm Grove in Southsea.
In November, when lockdown forced his business to close for the third time in 12 months, he came up with an innovative idea to keep his business boiling over.
He invested his grant money into a mobile catering unit and set up shop in the car park, selling cooked lobsters to takeaway.
His idea quickly took off and has pulled in the crowds, meaning he could bring back his staff from furlough and ensuring that the local business would return when restrictions are eased.
Scott, from Woodmancote near Emsworth, said: ‘In November we were open for just nine days before we were closed down for the third time because of tier four.
‘It was upsetting, there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
‘Wages were being covered by furlough, but there is still a lot to pay, bills, national insurance, all without an income. The bank account was slowly emptying every week.
‘However thanks to a grant from Portsmouth City Council, I was able to invest in a van, and came up with the idea of takeaway lobster, then it went crazy.’
Scott sells a half lobster with chips for £15 and it has proved so popular he is regularly importing huge cases from his supplier in Canada.
‘It is a delicacy,’ he said.
‘You don't get the chance to try something like lobster every day. People are missing their luxuries and I hope this has brought them some joy.
‘It’s the cheapest in the city and it’s not the sort of thing you are going to get anywhere else, at least not in this area.’
Scott has been advertising through his Relentless Steak & Lobster House Facebook page, and it’s attracted attention - with more than 13,000 people liking his posts.
As well as lobsters, he’s also been selling burgers and fish and chips.
Scott, 35, said: ‘I am so grateful for the support. Every penny that has been spent with us, is another penny that has gone towards keeping the business going, and keeping local people in jobs.’
Scott has been able to bring back his seven staff on flexi-furlough, plus two others, and the success has meant he has been able to plan for a grand return this summer.
Dad-of-three Scott said: ‘We are hoping for a great summer. If it's anything like last year, where people wanted to go out, then it will be great. We are looking to take on more staff as we are hoping to have 120 seats outside.
‘Port Solent has been great, it has really supported us and we can’t wait to reopen.’
Scott’s van is open Tuesday to Sunday from midday until 9.30pm.
For more go to facebook.com/relentlessportsmouth