Innovation That Matters

Pay-what-you-want restaurants

Food & Drink

After featuring Paste magazine’s pay-what-you-want subscriptions last month, one of our Springspotters alerted us to a restaurant in Vienna where diners decide how much they’d like to pay. Located on the Liechtensteinstraße, Der Wiener Deewan serves five different Pakistani curries daily, three of which are vegetarian. Prices for drinks are fixed, but customers decide how much they’d like to pay for the food. Most pony up a fair price, and the restaurant doesn’t seem to suffer from its unusual pricing plan. A bit of research shows that Der Wiener Deewan isn’t the only restaurant to take a laissez-faire approach to prices: Melbourne’s Lentil As Anything also lets customers pay what they can afford or what they think the meal was worth. The business now runs three locations in Melbourne and provides space for artists and writers. The One World Café in Salt Lake City and the SAME Café (So All Might Eat) in Denver operate on a similar basis, and also let customers specify portion sizes (which isn’t a bad idea for any restaurant). While a few customers might take advantage of a restaurant’s altruistic motives, most are happy to shell out a little extra to cover free meals for those who can’t afford to pay. Could be just the thing for restaurateurs looking for a way to combine social entrepreneurship with a love of cooking. Websites: Spotted by: Martina Meng


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