Yesterday I read a depressing article on New York Magazines digital site about the low success rate of “pay-what-you-want” restaurants. Apparently it doesn’t matter if these schemes are designed to support charitable endeavors, or just appeal to the inherent goodness of people. While there are a few high profile projects here in the U.S., such as the Panera restaurant chain’s Panera Cares Cafes, most of this type of restaurant only stay in business for brief periods.
The story reminded me of the wonderful, and very successful, Trust Café that I visited this summer in Amsterdam. Situated in the heart of the Albert Cuypstraat street market in the lively de Pijp neighborhood, Trust is a small, welcoming restaurant with a simple philosophy that encourages visitors to pay what they want or just what they can for their food and beverages. They sum it up with this quote, “The best way to see if you can trust somebody, is to trust them.”