RFMA Program Helps Denver’s SAME Cafe Feed the Hungry by Serving Delicious Meals With a Large Helping of Dignity

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Restaurant Facility Management Associationis an industryorganization dedicated to advancing industry awareness of restaurant facility management, while promoting professional and ethical standards to serve the customer with added value. Located in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, RFMA includes representatives from restaurant brands across the country.

The Birkys spent years volunteering in food banks and shelters. The couple was so touched during their service they decided it was time to do something different to help feed the hungry. SAME Cafe opened its doors in Oct 2006.

"Our philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy, organic food while being treated with dignity," explains owner Brad Birky, "Customers who have no money are encouraged to exchange an hour of service — sweep, wash the dishes, weed the organic garden — for a meal. Likewise, guests who have money are encouraged to leave a little extra to offset the meals of those who have less to give."

This unique concept has no set menu and no prices. The guests pay what they can afford or they work at the restaurant in exchange for their meals. While this concept might not sound like a successful restaurant formula, in the five years since they opened the cafe, the Birkys have expanded staff, space and offerings.

Now, through the RFMA Gives Program, the Birkys will receive the opportunity to really make a difference. The SAME Cafe will receive a kitchen remodel, provided by the generous contributions of RFMA member companies and individuals. Plans for this ambitious makeover include adding a 60-inch double oven w/griddle top, 10-foot center island prep table, under-counter dishwasher, as well as remodeling the design of the restaurant to add more space and productivity.

RFMA just announced this 2012 project to its membership and expects an even greater response than its first project earlier this year. Locally-based facility managers will oversee the work and RFMA vendor member companies will donate much-needed new and used equipment as well as providing labor and material at no cost.

"I anticipate the RFMA community will once again embrace this project with time, labor and money," says RFMA executive director Tracy Tomson. "The RFMA Gives Program enables RFMA members the opportunity to really make a difference."

Posted By: Ashley Nicole 8/14/2011