Vegan restaurant Lentil As Anything finds itself in hot water when it advertised a ‘pay what you want’ policy because its clientele really did take them up on this offer!
This is a non profit organisation who has been serving vegan meals for over two years. The owner says that the average customer now pays less than $3 per meal and says that those who can afford more, should pay more. The philosophy of the small place is to provide a warm place and tasty food for people who cannot afford much more.
But financial pressure is building up for them, totaling up to $23,000 a week, as more and more customers are taking advantage of this goodwill and paying less. Rose Piyarach Kiatsiri, restaurant manager commented that people did not realise that even though the food is vegan food, it still cost money to prepare and that they also had monthly rent to pay of near $2700 a week. That was the reason that they found themselves in financial difficulties.
“Lentil As Anything is a place for everyone to come in, because we believe everyone has the right to eat at the table,” Ms Piyarach Kiatsiri said.
“But people are taking advantage of what we’re doing here and forget about how we run, and the fact that we need support.”
“People may not realise what this costs – they think they could pay $5 to make lentils at home. We also pay $2700 a week in rent, present our meals beautifully, and employ kitchen staff,’ she said.
“There are people who can give, and then people who take. If people can afford to give, they should – if customers can pay, we need them to donate,” she added.
“The people who love Lentils, we call them family,” Ms Piyarach Kiatsiri said.
“This is about driving us forward, and asking people who love Lentils to contribute to keeping us alive.”
“If you love us and want us to continue doing what we’re doing, you need to share this campaign and you need to support us.”