No one gets a bill after dining at one restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. The Table Grace Cafe has made headlines around the world for not only its cuisine, but also for its kindness.
The cafe has a pay-what-you-can model, which means no hungry customer gets turned away.
“There is no cash register at Table Grace Cafe; Instead, a donation box is used for free will donations. Another option is volunteering in the restaurant, doing a chore or two,” according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The cafe has a 10-day work program and also offers a restaurant internship program.
“Our goal is that everyone regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat wonderful food while being treated with respect and dignity,” they write on their website.
The menu includes an always-changing variety of pizzas, soups and salads. Recent options have included a roasted eggplant and squash pizza, an Italian turkey pizza and a garbanzo, cod and peppers soup. The owners told local TV news station WOWT that donations are usually less than $5, with many people offering $2 or $3 for their meals.
“It continues to work,” co-owner Simone Weber told Omaha.com. “And I think the reason it works is because of the generosity of the community.”
Those who don’t have cash to offer pick a chore from a board, she told the newspaper, such as greeting customers or cleaning up after service.
One former customer was able to turn his appreciation of the food and mission into a job.
Noah Mejstrik told WOWT, “Yeah, I’ve been on the other side of the counter. I’ve been the person that’s come in without any money. Was treated with respect and enjoyed the hospitality and the meal. It’s been a blessing each and every day.”
You may even see the restaurant on national TV soon. They told Omaha.com that a crew from “Dateline” happened to stop in to eat during a break from filming a different story. Once the crew realized how unique the restaurant’s concept was, they turned on their cameras.