A new restaurant in Bartow, Florida will be catering to anyone’s kind of budget — big or small — with its “pay what you can” policy.
Welcome to Mosaics Community Cafe, a restaurant that will serve a variety of dishes, all without a price tag. Customers can pay as much or as little as they want, so long as it’s amount that they can afford. The restaurant aims to combat local hunger and additionally aims to eliminate food waste by offering small, medium, and large portion sizes to their guests.
Besides the option of paying what they’re able, patrons can also choose to volunteer an hour at either the restaurant or a local community, where they will get one token to exchange for a meal.
“I’ve always lived by the principle it is better to give than to receive,” said Mosaics founder Libbie Combee speaking to 10 News. “We have great supporters — folks who want to give back to the community [who] not necessarily have the time to volunteer but have the finances to buy and extra token and give away to someone.”
The idea for Mosaics came to Combee around 3 years ago, but she did not find a suitable space to house her project until last year. She developed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to renovate a space in downtown Bartow, with the assistance of local volunteers.
“[A mosaic] represents a broken community,” Combee explains her choice of name for the cafe. “But when you bring all the pieces of the community together, you create a beautiful masterpiece.”
Mosaics is not the first restaurant to advocate a pay-what-you-can menu. A restaurant in the town of Killarney, Count Kerry, called Pay As You Please offers its customers with the option of paying what they think the meal is worth.
Another restaurant with a similar concept is SAME Cafe in Denver, Colorado. Established in 2006, SAME — which is an acronym for “So All May Eat” — serves fresh, healthy dishes such as kinawa soup and panzanella salad.
Soul Kitchen, The JBJ Soul Foundation’s community restaurant serves a 3-course meal based on American Regional cuisine. Customers can give a donation of $10 per meal, which covers the cost of each meal. If funds are low, they have the option of volunteering instead.
Good in the stomach and even better on the budget. Where do you plan on eating next?
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