When it comes to dining out, most of us are more than familiar with the concept of sharing plates. But did you know there are more and more cafes, bars and restaurants popping up all over the country who are also sharing profits and skills to make a difference in their communities? Read on for our round-up of ethical eateries and drinking holes in your neck of the woods!
Melbourne has more than its fair share of socially minded eateries – from Shebeen, who donate profits from every drink sale back to charities in the beverage’s country of origin, to contemporary dining at youth-focused STREAT, YGAP’s Feast of Merit in Richmond and Kinfolk, where the takings fund initiatives in Australia and developing countries. For fine dining, Scarf host pop-up events in restaurants around town as part of their youth training and mentorship program. Down in Adelaide, cafe and vintage store Junktion support leadership and training events for young South Australians while over in Perth, with the help of Foundation Housing, Cafe 1905 provides hospitality training for workers with disabilities. Launceston’s Messiah sweeten their coffee and desserts by investing all profits in micro-finance loans via Kiva.
For street dining that goes the extra mile, Sydney’s roving Tsuru food truck regularly collaborates with Eat. Drink. Give. to host restaurant events for the underprivileged, while Table for 20, a permanent fixture in the Surry Hills dining scene, raises funds for the Hope Street Foundation and other local charities. If you’re after a fair bite in Brisbane, BAM Espresso in Fortitude Valley not only donate all profits to three major international charities, they are also home to the Pay A Sack Forward initiative (which you can also find in other cafes around town), helping provide essential supplies to anyone sleeping rough. Mu’ooz Eritrean Restaurant in West End train and employ women refugees from Africa, and the recently opened Melting Pot on the city’s north side, staffed by volunteers and serving up Malay fusion food, supports numerous charities in South Asia.
There are dozens of other restaurants all over the country who partner with organisations OzHarvest and Second Bite to deliver food waste and surplus stock to those in need, so next time you’re deciding where to eat out, why not invest a share of your meal in the local community!