No Money For A Meal? No Problem – Just Work For 50 Minutes

No Money For A Meal? No Problem – Just Work For 50 Minutes

January 9, 2018

A restaurant owner in Tokyo offers free meals to customers who can’t afford to eat, but there’s a catch: you have to work for it.

restaurant owner gives free meals if you work for 50 minutes
Sekai Kobayashi / Credit: Yomiuri Shimbun

Sekai Kobayashi, 33, runs Mirai Shokudo by herself. There is no staff other than her at the restaurant, which seats 12.

Customers have the option of paying for food or earning a free meal by performing tasks such as serving dishes and cleaning tables and dishes.

“Instead, we offer meals in return for 50 minutes of labor at the restaurant,” Kobayashi said. “I use this system because I want to connect with hungry people who otherwise couldn’t eat at restaurants because they don’t have money.”

Kobayashi opened the restaurant two years ago aiming for “a place where everyone is welcome and everyone fits in.”

So far, Kobayashi says more than 500 people have opted to work for their meals.

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