Restaurant in Italy Lets Diners Pay With Fruits and Vegetables

By Stephen Messenger, TreeHugger

Sure, money doesn’t grow on trees—but who needs money when you can pay with things that really do?

Later on this month, a new restaurant called “L’è maiala” is scheduled to open in Florence, Italy, based on the simple premise that money isn’t everything, nor is it even required. At the end of a meal, customers will have the option to pay their bill the conventional way (i.e. cash, credit card)—but they may also pay with fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, or other barter-able items.

In turn, the traditional Tuscan dishes served at L’è maiala will feature the food they receive, as well as other produce that has been grown locally.

In deciding to accept fresh greenery in place of cold, hard cash, owner Donella Faggioli hopes to open up her restaurant to those who might not otherwise be able to afford a meal out, especially in these difficult times.

“With the crisis that we’re all living through today, we’ve met those, who in times of hardship, think they cannot afford dinner — but we counter that by offering the option to pay in real goods instead of money,” Faggioli tells Corriere Fiorentino.

While bartering meals for fruits and vegetables to those who can’t afford to pay in cash might not seem like the best way to get rich in the restaurant business, it will no doubt reap its own rewards in customer loyalty and through word of mouth — after all, Faggioli says she’s modeled L’è maiala, not after the staunchness of a high-end eater, but after the homeyness of her grandmother’s kitchen.

If there’s a bright side to these tough economic times, it just might be in the reaffirmation that the best things in life often don’t cost a thing.



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Ashlyine B.
Ashlyine B.2 years ago

Thanks to share these details it’s truly nice.
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Mrs Shakespeare
Mrs Shakespeare3 years ago

Thats sooooo cute! xD
Its like stepping back in time.

Merna S.
Merna S.3 years ago

I have a big garden and am often giving away veggies so wish we had a restaurant like that here. It's organic and would be a great addition to a menu.

Armand B.
Past Member 3 years ago

Wonderful idea...a lot of us "country bumpkins" barter quite a bit...great system

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

thank you, very nice

Michael Kirkby
Michael Kirkby3 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C.3 years ago


Shaheen N.
Shaheen N.3 years ago

Awesome, this idea should be promoted in other parts of the world. Economy crisis & high prices of commodities are affecting majority of the people.

Tameera Kemp
Tameera Kemp3 years ago

Fantastic idea, going back in time, but if we all did it, maybe there would be a lot more neighbours who knew neighbours and a bit more of a community spirit ! All for it!

Heidi H.
Past Member 3 years ago

How wonderful.