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Restaurant Owner's KK Moment

Last month, a few Karma Kitchen volunteers and I were casually talking to the restaurant owner, Rajen Thapa. He remarks, "I've noticed that Karma Kitchen really changes people, even the creme of the crop at UC Berkeley." We start talking about the vast ripple effect of Karma Kitchen in the local community, and then he adds one of his own. 

"Okay, true story. Friday is our busiest night at the restaurant. Last Friday, in the peak of the traffic, our whole computer system crashed. Just like that. The staff panicked. Remembering our four years of Karma Kitchen, I made an announcement: 'Friends, our systems have crashed, we don't know what you've ordered and we can't accept any credit cards. So [raising his hands] you don't have to pay anything. If you have cash, great. Otherwise, please enjoy the meal." People ate, people honored the trust, and people gave. When one guy says, "I'll go back to the ATM and come back. You can keep my iPhone till I return," Rajen responds: "No, no. Just keep your iPhone. We trust you. If you want, come back tomorrow and pay. Or the next week." As he's describing the story, there's a big smile on his face -- which is exactly the reward for such actions.

It turned out that trusting the generosity of others was even more profitable than his other nights. Go figure. :)

--Maitre-D :) on Dec 16, 2011




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