Frequently Asked Questions


We know this is an interesting concept for a lot of people and it is hard to understand or wrap your head around. We have pulled together a list of questions that we are asked most frequently. If we fail to answer a question, do not hesitate to reach out to us personally!

What does pay-what-you-can pricing mean?

Customers have multiple options to pay:

  • Pay what you are able to afford.
  • Pay what you would typically pay for a similar meal. (We will have a suggested donation)
  • Pay what you would typically pay, plus an extra donation.
  • Pay specifically for someone else’s full meal.
  • Pay by volunteering with us.

What will the suggested donation be? Is there a minimum I have to pay?

The suggested donation will be less than one would pay for a healthy, locally sourced meal. It will be a reasonable fare with prices from $5-$8. In order to cover our costs and encourage a dignified exchange, we suggest that one does make that minimum payment or volunteer your time in exchange for your meal.

Where does my donation go if I donate more?

If you’re able to contribute a bit more, know that that will help feed those who come in and are unable to donate the full suggested donation for their food. Studies show that 80 % of people need to pay the suggested donation or paying more for their meal.

Where will you get your food from?

We will use locally-sourced products as much as we are able to. We realize that seasons change and we will be unable to source locally for every item, but we will work with local farmers, community gardens, and nonprofits as much as possible to provide our food.

What is the menu? Will it be a rotating menu?

Currently we are throwing around breakfast for lunch options. We will have healthy breakfast options such as a roasted vegetable egg casserole, oatmeal, and fresh salad. We also will have casseroles to choose from offering vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options. Most days we may have fresh soups as well.

The menu will be rotating depending on what we are able to source during the season and what we are donated. We will stick to a consistent theme of doing these casseroles (potentially breakfast), salads, and healthy recipes.

How will people find out about the cafe?

We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and will be posting the menu daily to these social media platforms. We will have a window front sign on Hillsborough St. for all to see  and will advertise throughout Raleigh.

What will my experience be like?

Customers will be greeted as they walk in. The ‘Greeters’ (volunteer position) will tell patrons what is on the menu, what the options are to pay, and more about A Place at the Table if they would like. They will then choose what they would like to eat from volunteers behind the serving line or counter. They will pay-what-they-can at the cash register.  People can then choose to sit at the long, communal table with other people or sit at a smaller table. Everyone will have a dignified experience and feel welcomed & included.

Who are you serving?

We are serving everyone. We believe that all people deserve dignity to eat in a restaurant and deserve dignity towards a healthy, affordable meal. With our location of Hillsborough St. we will be a cafe for students and staff of NC State & Meredith. However, we are there for everyone. Wherever you may come from, you are welcome to dine with us and we hope you will.

How many employees will work there?

We will have two paid employees: a Head Chef and a Cafe Manager. The Chef and the Manager will have volunteers to help.

What is the cafe and dining area going to look like?

See our post on what the cafe will look like here.  

What does volunteering for a meal look like? Will everyone be able to volunteer in the kitchen?

All volunteers are properly matched to the function that best suits their abilities. Some may be working in the kitchen, some may be working outside, and some may be doing things like washing windows, wiping tables, dishes, etc.

We are a restaurant first. Like every other restaurant in Raleigh, we are licensed and follow all rules and regulations by the Health Department. Volunteers will be required to do that as well and not everyone will be working in the kitchen. 

How can I get involved?

Email aplaceatthetableraleigh@gmail.com if you are interested in getting involved. We will need help as we get closer to opening & prior to that with fundraisers, building the up-fit of A Place at the Table, and projects throughout the year. We will need a steady stream of volunteers when we open in July of 2016. We also will need people to eat with us as soon as we open!

I don’t live in Raleigh, but like the idea. What can I do?

If you are financially able to, please consider providing donations on our Crowdfunding website. If not, that is okay. We would love for you to stay involved and for you to follow us on our social media platforms. Stay-up-to-date on our blogs and see what we are doing. We love hearing from you at our email address as well: aplaceatthetableraleigh@gmail.com
We did not want to overload your brain with an FAQ. Please do not hesitate to reach out with anymore questions. The Board of Directors would be happy to answer any thought or question you may have. 

Don’t forget to check out our Crowdfunding campaign and help us bring A Place at the Table to Raleigh!

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