Everybody Eats is a not-for-profit, pay-as-you-feel dining concept, which began in June 2017 as a pop-up each Monday night at Gemmayze St in St Kevin’s Arcade, a popular restaurant on Auckland’s K’ Rd. It’s an initiative that sees food that would otherwise go to waste be turned into restaurant-quality meals, prepared by volunteer chefs, and served at the table by volunteer staff.
In September 2018, Everybody Eats expanded to Avondale where they now operate out of Woodworks Café, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6.30-8pm, feeding between 100 and 150 people each night.
Dayne Smith, founder of I Love Avondale, collaborated with Everybody Eats founder Nick Loosley to bring the Everybody Eats concept to Avondale. Dayne recently spoke to one of the volunteers, Leonie (pictured above), about what she likes most about the dining experience that serves rescued food and allows customers to pay what they’re willing or able to.
“I love that EE use food that is otherwise destined for the bins, and am slightly intimidated by how the chef of the day works with whatever ingredients are in front of them to make truly tasty food. I love that it's feeding families who might be struggling for money this week, or people who might not have had a decent feed that week, or someone who has never had a restaurant meal ever.
But my favourite thing about EE is that it gives people the chance to sit down with people that they might never otherwise sit down with... There's no differentiation between the people who pay and those who don't, you can't order a drink or more than what's on offer, and everyone is served the same (bloody delicious) meal. Nearly everywhere else in society the gap is getting bigger and we are getting more divided – at EE those walls are taken down. Because surely, when we all sit down at the same table, we get stronger as a society.”