Brunch, eateries and social eating has become a charming characteristic of Australian culture. If you’re one to spend money eating out on the regular there’s a way to enjoy food with compassion.
Social enterprises have a business model that operates to fulfil a social, cultural, or environmental purpose. Below are 8 eateries in Sydney that will put your money to a great cause and help a community in need.
Zambrero’s company mission is to help tackle world hunger through serving freshly-made and delicious Mexican cuisine. With their ‘Plate 4 Plate’ initiative every bowl or burrito you purchase translates into a free meal for someone in need.
Packaged by the Zambrero team, these meals are distributed with the help of Rise Against Hunger to disadvantaged communities across Africa, Asia, and America. They have donated over 23 million meals and you can be involved by visiting their restaurants.
Find establishments in Darlinghurst, Waterloo, Coogee, Lidcombe, Casula and more.
By serving the most appetising brunch-style cuisine Gratia donates 100% of their profits to non-profit charities. Their food is not only visually beautiful, but their nutritious ingredients are sourced from local farmers and packaging is all biodegradable.
As a way to spread compassion Gratia lets you choose your impact upon every purchase. You can select between feeding an Australian student in hunger, planting trees to offset carbon, and feeding the homeless with *OzHarvest (see below).
Address: 372 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Darcy St Project is not only an espresso bar but also a social enterprise coffee school with the mission to support employability of young people. ‘Big Tasty’ is their unique house blend with ingredients sourced from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Ethiopia.
With over 15 years of expertise they help individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds by providing training that is relevant to the current industry. Students leave their program with sufficient skills and the confidence to seek employment.
Address: Shop 4, City Centre Car Park, Parramatta, NSW
As Australia’s first social enterprise bakery the Bread & Butter Project commits 100% of their profits to helping refugees and asylum seekers be employable. The money earned through being an artisan bakery is put into facilitating year-long traineeships valued at $50,000 each.
Some features of the traineeship include TAFE Certifications, ESL tutoring, counselling services and work experience. 100% of graduates from The Bread & Butter Project have achieved sustainable employment.
Address: Market stalls at Carriageworks, Northside Produce Market, The Great Market and Pyrmont Growers Market.
Located conveniently in Sydney’s CBD, Two Wolves Cantina is a social enterprise eatery operated by compassionate volunteers. This festive establishment serves everybody’s favourite Mexican inspired dishes including nachos, empanadas, tacos and burgers.
Funded by the profits of the eatery, ‘The Two Wolves Abroad’ is an initiative that serves disadvantaged communities overseas. Volunteers can take short-term intermissions or long-term placements in countries like India, Vietnam, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. Some activities include teaching english and building houses.
Address: 202 Broadway, Sydney NSW
Parliament on King is a social-enterprise cafe filled with books, music, alcohol and great food. Their cozy establishment serves hearty food made by their team of asylum seekers and refugees who are learning how to run a hospitality business.
On top of their original cafe menu they are now offering a culturally diverse range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes like coconut curry and noodle salads.
Address: 632 King St, Erskineville NSW
Folonomo is Australia’s first profit-for-purpose restaurant dedicating 100% of their profits to social causes. This casual fine dining establishment serves beautifully curated Western style food and a selection of alcohol.
The profit received after deducting expenses from revenue go to a range of not for profit (NFP) organisations. Half of the profit goes to customer-nominated causes and the remaining half goes to long term support causes chosen by the staff and The Pure Foundation.
Address: 370 Bourke Street, Surry Hills NSW
8. Mazí Mas
Mazí Mas is a pop up restaurant project that hosts dining events in around different cities. As a NFP social enterprise they provide training for long term unemployed migrant, refugee and asylum seeker women to increase their employability.
By developing culinary skills and work experience their mission is to support women in achieving an independent income and permanent employment. Some cuisines they have served through their pop ups include Persian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi.
Address: find Mazí Mas’ pop up locations via their website and social media.
* Bonus: OzHarvest
For a bonus round of compassionate business meet OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. Their operations include redistributing quality surplus food, educate about healthy eating, engage a supportive community, and innovate solutions to tackle food waste.
Running nationwide they are rescuing over 1000 tonnes of food weekly from over 3000 food donors. These sources include supermarkets, restaurants, shopping centres, and catering companies.
You can do your part by minimising waste in the kitchen or donating to their cause.