Restaurant Allows Broke Diners To Wash Dishes For Free Meals

A Spanish restaurant in the Catolonia region is offering broke customers the chance at a “free” meal. Trobada is attempting to help the country’s “new poor” through the current recession by providing them with free food if they are willing to wash dishes, clean the kitchen, and help out in other ways.

Trobada opened its doors in March with the help of a set menu that includes a starter, main course, dessert, bread, water, and wine for just $8.35.

The restaurant is currently serving 70 meals a day and half of those meals are given to diners who choose to work for their food.

The idea came about through a joint venture between the city of Terrassa and 30 local charities who aim to curb poverty in the area. The restaurant operates on an estimated 2013 budgets of $227,000 for which 25 percent will arrive by way of paying customers.

The organization relies on volunteers who they call “time customers.” Those time customers have been out of work for two or three years and live below the poverty line. They come to the restaurant for a hot meal for which they provide a service to receive.

The restaurant believes that 150 to 200 people will generate more than 15,000 hours of volunteer work in the first year of operation.

Restaurant manager Xavier Casa tells WTVY:

“This is aimed at people wanting to regain and strengthen their self-esteem. People wanting to improve their day-to-day situation. This gives them hope for the future.”

In the first quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate in Spain jumped to a massive 27.2 percent as 6.2 million people in the country are now without work. The “long-term” unemployment rate has jumped to 3.5 million people.

72,400 households in Spain now fail to have any working household members.

Much like the US in 2008 Spain is suffering through a massive collapse in its real-estate market.

Would you wash dishes or clean a kitchen for a free meal?