If you can’t pay, this restaurant will let you work for your meal

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At a restaurant in Tokyo, “will work for food” takes on a new meaning. Since its opening in 2015, the restaurant has offered that customers can barter their labor for meals, and over 500 people have embraced the offer.

If you can’t pay, this restaurant will let you work for your meal

By the end of the month, eating out can feel like a distant memory.

by: Miranda Larbi published:
January 21, 2018

As you get further and further into your overdraft, you’re reduced to living off canned goods and rice…and life becomes one long, miserable drag.

But that’s not the case for residents in one part of Tokyo.

Mirai Shokudo, in Chiyoga, wants to make sure all passersby get to eat well and so offers the option to pay for meals with one 50-minute shift.

Yep, you can barter for your dinner by offering up your labour.

‘I used this system because I want to connect with hungry people who couldn’t otherwise eat at restaurants because they don’t have money,’ owner Sekai Kobayashi tells Asia One.

He opened up the eatery in 2015 with the aim of creating ‘a place where everyone is welcome and everyone fits in’.

It only fits 12 diners and patrons can barter their meal for duties such as washing plates, serving meals or clearing tables.

You can still pay for a meal, with lunch going for around a fiver (bargain, huh?!), but so far more than 500 people have opted to work for their dinner.

And the meals look jolly good and filling – so you’re getting your money/labour’s worth.

Now imagine how much good businesses like this could do in the UK, where 8 million people struggle to put food on the table, and we’ve got over 8,000 rough sleepers living in London.

Let’s hope bigger enterprises here take note.

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