Local charities are greatly benefitting from more and more non-profit restaurants. In Houston, OKRA Charity Saloon is one of those that gives back generously to charities in the area. Each time a guest purchases a drink, they are given the opportunity to cast a vote for the charities that are selected in advance by OKRA’s members. The chosen recipients have been among a list of four choices and voted on by their patrons. OKRA - Organized Kollaboration on Restaurant Affairs, was established in 2011 by bar and restaurant owners in the Houston area. It was their way of serving as a community supported advocacy group to raise the money needed to assist local charities.
In Raleigh, executive director Maggie Kane heads up A Place at the Table, where guests that can’t afford it, but are in need of a healthy meal, can dine with dignity. It works by 80 percent of customers paying a suggested meal cost (donation) and in turn, this covers the 20 percent of customers that can’t pay for their meals. Guests can also volunteer at the restaurant in exchange for a meal. Also, any tips added onto meals pay forward to a meal for someone else.
This is very refreshing in a world where almost all business owners believe that you’re not a success unless you turn a profit.