The Blog

Standby and canned beverages to serve humanitarian causes

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 5:20 AM

When was the last time you went to a restaurant, ordered few platters, and managed to leave with no leftovers on the table? Personally, I've never managed to do so. The dilemma does not reside in the ability of a human being to anticipate the quantity of food he / she does need till getting full, especially when the order is made for two and more persons. Indeed, the controversy relies on what happens next. If restaurant managers want to abide by the hospitality principles of hygiene and safety, they are supposed to throw all leftovers in the bin. At least, this is what I have learned at university.


My old man used to recount about a restaurant located at Al-Burj Square - nowadays Down Town Beirut - in the late 1960s. It was a small premises, which could host up to 40 persons seated, with an avant-garde policy regarding leftovers. The owner of that restaurant, who was the manager as well, was totally against food waste. Hence, he made sure that two tables at the back corner are always empty. Those tables were hosting only beggars - people who cannot afford paying the food of the day - coming to eat whatever available, which was an assorted platter of customers' leftovers.


This concept is nowadays applicable in some restaurants across Europe. As example, in Geneva, Switzerland, an Arabic themed restaurant permits its waiters to call any beggar and offer him/her a leftover portion to eat. So, if a customer orders one serving of grilled kebab, which includes three fingers, and ate only two, the poor can get the third for free with a piece of bread.


In 2012, the humanitarian social awareness shifted to the beverage sector as well. In the United Kingdom, one coffee shop posted on his green board "in-house, takeaway, or standby". As example, if a customer passed by the counter and ordered three standby coffees, he/she will pay the bill but pick up none. Any poor person, who is not capable of buying a cup of coffee, can enter that coffee shop and pick-up one standby order. It is a discreet and impressive way of aiding those who are unable to insure the basics of their daily life: food and beverage.


In Lebanon, owners of "Rabbit Hole", "Li Beirut", and "Chaplin eatery" introduced an innovative way to assist the needy people. "Donate Now to Feed Someone" is a campaign, which will last from 8 till 22 April 2013, whereas a customer can show up with any canned food and get 20% discount on his/her bill. Collected canned food will be redistributed to those in need on 23 April with the attendance of local NGOs.


The Lebanese nightlife scene needs, at least, to reconnect back with its social entourage, especially after the dire disputes, which erupted between bars' owners and residents of Monot and Gemmayzeh streets during the last ten years. At a time when we are losing track of the "socialisation" component, which represents a main motor drive for people to go out, at least let's show that we still care a bit about the scourges surrounding us. "Donate Now to Feed Someone" is a model role to abide by.


Big Salute ...

Categories: Bartending Hips

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