Dine and pay as you wish

And where else in the world you can dine at cafes like it

Photo: Reach Community Services

A cafe run by seniors catering to seniors has opened at Block 417, Bukit Batok West Avenue 4.

The initiative by Reach, a charitable organisation that offers community support and services, aims to draw seniors who live alone or who are "at risk of social isolation" out into a social space to "make new friends, enjoy a meal and learn together".

It was inspired by the Japanese concept of Ibasho Cafe, which engages senior citizens in creating a multi-generational place.

What also makes this place special is that customers can choose to pay whatever amount they want for their meals.

Here's a look at some pay-as-you-wish eateries in other parts of the world.


 1) Annalakshmi in Singapore 


​Photo: Lianhe Wabao

This Indian vegetarian restaurant has two outlets here in Singapore.

It serves a buffet spread of South Indian vegetarian cuisine, and patrons can choose how much they want to pay at the end of the meal.

The eatery is staffed by volunteers, and is part of the Temple of Fine Arts, a non-profit organisation, with all proceeds going to charity.


 2) Der Wiener Deewan in Vienna



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For anyone craving a sumptious buffet spread of Pakistani food, this is the eatery for you.

The all-you-can-eat buffet serves up five different curry dishes, three vegetarian options and two meat dishes.

The restaurant is also open for 23 hours daily, except on Sundays.


 3) Same Cafe in Denver, Colarado



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The cafe's website home page boasts the words: "Everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy food while being treated with dignity."

True to those words, it serves daily meals with no necessary requirement for patrons to pay.

Its meals are made from fresh organic ingredients.

Instead of a cash register, the cafe has a donation box.




 4) Lentil As Everything in Sydney and Melbourne



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This restaurant has four outlets in Melbourne and one in Sydney, and no set prices.

Each restaurant has its own unique menu.

It also runs a catering service.

Customers can pay for their meal by placing any amount into a contribution box.

One of the chain's core missions is to "provide a wholesome and nutritious meal where money is not a concern".


 5) Weinerei in Berlin, Germany 


This one's for the wine lovers out there.

It has a pay-as-you-want policy on - you guessed it - wine.

After 8pm daily, customers can pay €2 (S$3.20) to rent a wine glass and then drink unlimited amounts of wine.

When leaving, customers pay however much they think is worth the quantity of wine they drank.

This is certainly a good place for customers who get too drunk and forget to pay their bills.


 6) ComeUnity Cafe in Jackson, Tennessee


​Photo: ComeUnity/ Facebook

This cafe serves mostly organic, locally grown, seasonal foods.

The menu changes every day too.

If a customer cannot afford to pay anything at all, the cafe allows him or her to exchange an hour of volunteer work for a meal.


This article was first published on The Straits Times.