Room At Our Table will fundamentally operate like any other restaurant, based on the concept that ‘a patron will come to have a meal’. There will be a rotating menu that will be posted for all to order from. You will place your order and it will be delivered to your table. At the end of your meal, you will be left with a bill in a standard check folder, not unlike one that you would get at any other restaurant. Inside, the patron will find the following: information about what Room At Our Table is and what the cost of an average meal is. In addition, there will be a message of encouragement asking them to pay an amount of what they can (this can look like an amount that is either more than their average meal cost or an amount that is whatever they can afford). There will also be information on how to volunteer at Room At Our Table – those who can not pay will be strongly encouraged to volunteer to assist in deferring meal costs. As the patron(s) depart, they will put in an amount of what they can pay, close the check folder and turn it in for payment.Most of the operating help comes from volunteers, from kitchen help to servers. We believe that this is vital to community building. When people volunteer to help, they get to know their neighbors, make new friends, and feel good about what they are doing. This should help ignite their passions to continue to do something that speaks to them. This also allows for those that are in need to help volunteer and get a sense of pay back and not feel like it’s a “hand out”.
Some of the food is purchased from distributors but it is our hope that a lot of the food will be donated or bartered with local farmers and vendors. With donations and paying patrons, this model of a restaurant can run in the black. All excess funds are diverted to program development and other missions that work with Room At Our Table.
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