Hungry diners exploit Melbourne food chain

Port Phillip LeaderMelbourne restaurant chain Lentil as Anything is feeling underwhelmed after losing $4000 in one evening it has been reported.

According to The Age the not for profit organisation completely funded by customer donations, operates four vegetarian restaurants in Melbourne and another in Sydney.

There have been incidents when a lack of donations has meant the restaurant chain has been working at a loss, but figures reported from the Abbotsford branch after a busy day suggest a loss of $4000.

Lentil as Anything provides a healthy and enjoyable dining experience for everyone. There is no set price and customers donate whatever they wish into the collection boxes.

Signs at each of the restaurants suggest a donation of $12 will cover the cost of a meal and assist with overheads. People who cannot afford to contribute are encouraged to volunteer in the restaurant or contribute another time.

Founder of the chain Shanaka Fernando said that the community had been very generous and supportive in keeping the restaurants up and running since the first one opened in 2000.

It is difficult to ignore the fact that some customers treat the restaurant as a place to go and eat for free. After a music festival the Abbotsford restaurant collected $3995 form 1457 people, many returning from the event. Staff have since posted “We are not a spot to get a free feed after so long hours partying on the dance floor.”

“Overall we are strong and sustainable,” Fernando said. Every now and then we get hit by something like this and we just need to remind people that if they think their actions are not impacting on us, then think again.”

There are no plans to remove the pay as you feel model. Fernando said “We are trying to put the onus on people to show that people are intelligent and people have got integrity.”

5 thoughts on “Hungry diners exploit Melbourne food chain

  • June 16, 2015 at 12:04 am

    What has this got to do with the Backpacker Trade, BTN?

  • June 24, 2015 at 2:16 am

    You don’t think commenting on the “pay as you feel” model that might be attractive to budget-stressed young travellers as a business idea is relevant to our community (Mr?) McCoy? Fair enough – we thought it was but that’s editorial judgement for you 😉

  • June 24, 2015 at 2:18 am

    … admit we could have chosen a more relevant picture though…

  • July 2, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Strange you don’t seem to be covering the Greyhound/ Wicked Travel merger/takeover, I think that is more relevant to the Australian backpacker tourism market, have you not seen all the rebranding of their stores and the consolidation of Greyhound ticket offices into Wicked Travel stores?

    I would like to see a report on what is going on there.

  • July 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Greg C – We have seen it and we are aware of it. However we are waiting until we get something from Wicked or Greyhound, until then it is simply us just writing what everyone else already knows so no real story. Hopefully we will be able to post something soon. If anyone from Wicked or Greyhound would like to get in touch…


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