People’s restaurant (Volkskantine) is a new public provider for affordable good food - along the lines of social housing, the library, or public transport - with a mission to make healthy and sustainable the easiest and most affordable choice.
The city of Almere was our first site to run and prototype the restaurant from march - december 2022, in collaboration with Flevo Campus. For the next iteration in 2023, we are upscaling to a national restaurant, opening new venues in 3 cities.
How does it work?
People’s restaurant (Volkskantine) is a combination of a restaurant, culinary educational center and a learning and practice community. It sells fantastic, nutritious organic meals at the price of fast food. The menu is 100% plant based, without emphasizing this aspect explicitly. In order to make more people eat plants more often, our approach is that a culinary mission is more effective than an activist one. In addition to providing meals, People’s Restaurant also organizes cooking workshops, school lessons, meals services for elderly, runs a commercial catering business and provides a ‘third space’ for people to hang out and get together.
People’s restaurant is open to everybody wanting to eat healthier, but are frustrated by the status quo food landscape. With pricing being similar to that of fast food restaurants, we are able to compete with fast food. However, for those without or below a living wage, we offer reduced prices by collaborating with municipal program and funding. In our mission to act as a new public provider, just like the library, we want to bring together a wide and diverse audience, and in doing do, hope to mitigate the physical distance between different socio-economic classes.
What is the business model?
There is no business model. We have a not for profit exploitation model, which allows us to maximize affordability without redirecting the costs to end-users. Instead, the cash flow generated by our commercial catering is used to cover a large percentage of operational costs. In addition, we create value and income by facilitating unemployed people to gradually reintegrate into the labor market. Ingredients are bought locally, and are partly donated by food waste companies.