Have your cake and eat it too
After feasting on duck breast with carrot and chervil or fish with calamari and peas, Meredith’s restaurant diners can also do their bit for charity.
The Mt Eden eatery is taking part in DineAid, where customers can opt to add an extra $2 to their bill throughout November and December.
Around 150 restaurants around the country have signed up to the programme, set up by chef Mark Gregory, with proceeds going to local charities.
Mr Gregory, who spent 18 years as a top chef in Britain, based DineAid on a similar programme in the UK called Streetsmart.
Meredith’s owner Michael Meredith had no hesitation in signing up when he heard the money would benefit local charities.
They include Kidz First, the Auckland City Mission and the Foundation For Youth Development.
“The community in the hospitality industry should give something back,” Mr Meredith says.
“A lot of restaurants see it as a no-brainer.”
His restaurant has also been involved with the Tap Project, which saw $1 added to bills to support the installation of clean water supplies around the world. So far Mr Meredith says customers have reacted well to donating money to DineAid.
“Everyone can afford $2. I’ll pay it if I have to.”
Mr Gregory has also had good feedback from other restaurants, with “less than 1 percent” of people refusing to donate the money.
He says DineAid works well for several reasons. “It’s only $2 per table so if there’s 10 people on a table that’s 20 cents each. And around Christmas it’s nice to feel that you’re giving something during the season of goodwill.”
Corporate sponsors are meeting administration costs, which allows all the money donated to reach the charities. Since 1998 Streetsmart has raised $9 million for charities in the UK.
Mr Gregory estimates around $150,000 could be raised from the first year of the scheme and hopes that number will increase if more restaurants take part next year.
For a list of all restaurants taking part in DineAid, visit www.dineaid.org.nz.
Community minded: Restaurateur Michael Meredith has signed up to the DineAid programme, which sees patrons chose to pay an extra $2 for charity.