A Place at the Table May Revolutionize the Restaurant Industry in America

A Place at the Table

In this episode 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.

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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.

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.

About a Place at the Table

In 2015, Maggie Kane founded A Place at the Table to create community and provide access to good food for everyone. Drawing from her experience of growing up volunteering in soup kitchens, it became clear that there was a large gap between those who have means and those without.

With this realization lead came an innovative idea- upgrade traditional soup kitchen models into what she calls Soup Kitchen 2.0; transforming places where people would eat together no matter one’s background or current circumstances.

In 2018, the flagship cafe opened in downtown Raleigh. A Place at the Table is Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can cafe. The best part is that when you walk in, it looks like a regular restaurant, you wouldn’t know we are a nonprofit. And it’s working.

  • 35,238 MEALS SERVED

About Maggie Kane

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.

TED Talk | Maggie Kane is the Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table

The restaurant is now 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.

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