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Restaurant in Italy Lets Diners Pay With Fruits and Vegetables

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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12:45AM PDT on Jun 1, 2013

Thanks to share these details it’s truly nice.
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1:24PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

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

6:14PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

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.

12:57PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

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

5:34PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

thank you, very nice

4:35PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012


4:31PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012


1:25PM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

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

11:45AM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

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!

11:22AM PDT on Sep 8, 2012

How wonderful.

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