As a Quaker venue, Friends House is following strong Quaker values (external link) such as equality, sustainability, truth and integrity. This is why Friends House Hospitality is taking an ethical approach to business. This concept is nothing new to Quakers though. From the early 18th Century, many Quakers were recognised for their integrity in social and economic matters.
Many Quakers went into manufacturing or commerce (external link), because (as non-conformists) they were not allowed to earn academic degrees at that time. These Quaker businesses were successful, in part, because people trusted them. The customers knew that Quakers felt a strong conviction to set a fair price for goods and not to haggle over prices. They also knew that Quakers were committed to quality work, and that what they produced would be worth the price.
At the same time that Quakers were succeeding in manufacturing and commerce and migrating to new territories, they were also becoming more concerned about social issues and becoming more active in society at large.
The Quaker commitment to Truth led to an ongoing reputation for integrity in both industry and banking. In 1825, Quaker firms opened the first steam railway from Stockton to Darlington. In the 1870s, large Quaker chocolate empires, run by Fry’s, Joseph Rowntree and George Cadburys, started to grow. The quality of Quaker business practice led to trust and enabled Quakers to found thriving banking chains (1890s) – Lloyds and Barclays for example, and other manufacturing industries such as Coleman and Reckits (mustard!).
Today, Friends House is continuing the pioneering Quaker idea of making successful ethical business. We take great care in the quality of our meeting rooms and event catering, and the services we offer. We also treat our customers, the same way that we treat our employees and suppliers, with respect and integrity. We respond to social, economic and environmental concern by paying our employees above the London Living Wage, ensuring that our meetings rooms are fairly-priced and supporting animal welfare.
In the near future, Friends House Hospitality intends to perpetuate its Quaker heritage by being pioneering, loving, responsive and heartfelt.