Rock legend Jon Bon Jovi has opened up a pay what you want restaurant called Soul Kitchen on Oct. 21.
"The Soul Kitchen is meant to serve people in need, who then donate their time in our community in exchange for a nutritious meal for themselves and their families, as well as to those who can afford to contribute each is just as valuable to our success," the singer said in his opening statement at a press conference in Red Bank, NJ.
Soul Kitchen is a one of a kind idea that is five years in the making with the non-profit organization, JBJ Soul Foundation.
The idea of the restaurant is a pay it forward type payment plan. If the patron can afford to pay for the meal, they may leave whatever they want, if not, they have to volunteer either at Soul Kitchen washing dishes or working in the kitchen, or volunteer for the Lunch Break organization.
Bon Jovi saw the need for this restaurant and the surrounding community.
“At a time when 1 in 5 households are living at or below the poverty level, and at a time when 1 out of 6 Americans are food insecure, this is a restaurant whose time has come. This is a place based on and built on community – by and for the community,” he said.
The Soul Kitchen's website features this mission statement, “Teach a Man to Fish diners in need who come to the Soul Kitchen are empowered – they have earned a seat at the table for themselves and their families through volunteer hours at the Kitchen or other local organizations. They are served nutritious culinary dishes by the wait-staff in a lovely restaurant atmosphere with the dignity of having earned their meal. On the other hand, patrons who can afford to dine anywhere are rewarded with not only a delicious meal but with the knowledge that by dining out and leaving the suggested donation, they’ve contributed to their community."
Bon Jovi is the lead singer of famed 80s band of the same name, and was recently declared the second richest band in the world right behind U2 earning $125 million.
The band has 11 studio albums to date.