6 Mission-Driven Restaurants that Serve More than Food

Categories Trends and News

Some restaurants have taken social responsibility to a whole new level.

Driven By Purpose

Driven by a social purpose to make the world a better place, these conscious eateries are demonstrating that you can combine social value with delicious food and end up with happy, satisfied customers as well as an enriched community.

Social Activism

Whether it’s mentoring Aboriginal youth, supporting environmental conservation projects, offering training programs to refugees, or bringing awareness to pay inequality, many restaurants around the country are dishing up social activism alongside their favorite entrée.

Here is a small sample of Australian eateries that are choosing to reconnect meals with community and purpose…

  • Charcoal Lane

    Serving up an innovative menu favoring native flavours, this social enterprise restaurant takes it one step further and offers a mentoring and training program to vulnerable young people, many who are Aboriginal, and need help overcoming obstacles in their lives.

    Preparing them with comprehensive leadership training, Charcoal Lane enables these young people to achieve their potential, learn valuable skills, and work toward careers in the hospitality industry.

  • The Good Beer Company

    Although not a restaurant, The Good Beer Company was worthy of mention and its craft ‘Great Barrier’ beer is on the menu at many Queensland pubs and restaurants.

    Aligned with the social mission of preserving the infamous Great Barrier Reef, this company gives 50% of its profits to the Australian Marine Conservation Society to fund awareness and conservation projects for the endangered reef.

  • Parliament on King

    Operating as both a café and social catering enterprise, Parliament on King offers a hospitality training program for refugees and asylum seekers within the café, and donates time to preparing home-cooked meals for the homeless.

    This social initiative allows the new arrivals to give back and to help connect with the wider Australian community.

  • Handsome Her

    Although steeped in some controversy, this humble café has no qualms about charging a ‘man’ tax to highlight the issue of pay inequality between men and women within Australia.

    Charging male customers an extra 18% surcharge is helping bring awareness to this pay gap and encourages men to reflect on their gender-specific privileges.

    Women’s charities are benefiting from this awareness campaign as money collected through the optional man tax is being donated to them.

  • Folonomo

    One of the first ‘profit for purpose’ restaurants in Sydney, Folonomo is an acronym for ‘For Love Not Money’.

    Dedicated to donating 100% of the restaurant’s profits to charities, this restaurant is fostering positive change in the world.

    After paying for the operating costs of the eatery, 50% of the profits are donated to long term causes chosen by the staff and The Pure Foundation, a humanitarian organization promoting global peace.

    The remaining 50% is given to social causes chosen by the restaurants’ patrons through a customer-nominated process.

  • Streat

    Aimed at helping homeless youth, Streat offers a supportive pathway to help get these disadvantaged youth off the streets.

    Through a 17 week hospitality training program, Streat provides them many opportunities to learn life skills and gain valuable work experience through their four cafes, an artisan bakery, a coffee roaster, and catering company.




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