April 29, 2020
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The pay-what-you-can cafe model may revolutionize the restaurant industry in America

This model is an innovative way to address the issue of food insecurity and bring communities together

Cafe's like A Place at the Table are a potential model for how to help the community during turbulent times.

Food insecurity affects 800 million people globally, including 17 million households in every county in America. We must find new and innovative ways to address this marginalized issue across America. One World Everybody Eats is a community built to respond to this call.

There are now more than 60 pay-what-you-can community cafes operating in America and could be a trend in the restaurant industry that scales beyond anyones imagination.

At the surface, you may think this concept could never work, but many of these cafes are proving that opinion false. One World Everybody Eats now supports nearly 50 independent cafes and start-up cafes in its network with education, collaboration, best practice sharing, and networking opportunities.

One of these independent cafes in its network is a A Place at the Table, based in Raleigh, NC. Even during these turbulent times of COVID19, the cafe is open and serving more food than ever before.

In episode 49 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast, I speak with Maggie Kane, founder of A Place at the Table on how Pay-what-you-can Cafes can revolutionize the restaurant industry in America.

A Place at the Table in Raleigh, North Carolina is one of only 61 pay-what-you-can restaurants in the U.S. – which means customers can choose to pay the suggested price, pay what they can afford, volunteer their time or pay-it-forward. Maggie Kane opened A Place at the Table in January, 2018 with the mission for the restaurant being to provide everyone in the community with hot, healthy meals regardless of means. In 2018 alone, diners paid forward over 25,000 meals and volunteered more than 24,000 hours.

Maggie Kane is the Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table, the first pay-what-you-can cafe in downtown Raleigh. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013 and began working for a nonprofit with people experiencing homelessness. By befriending many people living on the margins, she knew something needed to be done. Maggie has a heart to serve, a desire to always be inclusive, and a passion for loving people. Through her work with people on the streets, she realized the power of community, the importance of dignity, and the beauty in bringing people together over incredible food.

In February 2015, A Place at the Table was birthed and Maggie never looked back, opening in January of 2018 serving thousands of people in Raleigh with a dignified, healthy, and affordable meal. However, more importantly, a meal that feeds more than just the stomach– it feeds your hearts, souls, and minds. Outside of the cafe, you will catch her running marathons and eating peanut butter! But…you will mainly find her at the cafe right now loving on people all day.

In February 2015, A Place at the Table was birthed and Maggie never looked back, opening in January of 2018 serving thousands of people in Raleigh with a dignified, healthy, and affordable meal. However, more importantly, a meal that feeds more than just the stomach– it feeds your hearts, souls, and minds. Outside of the cafe, you will catch her running marathons and eating peanut butter! But…you will mainly find her at the cafe right now loving on people all day

Grant Trahant

Grant Trahant

Grant Trahant is founder of Causeartist