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“Just add it to the bill.”

Several high-end restaurants in Amman, Jordan are actively participating in a large-scale initiative to support cancer. I found their approach interesting – and very subtle. Every time you visit one of the participating venues, 1JD (equivalent to approximately $1.42) is added to your bill.

“Eighteen restaurants officially joined the “Restaurants Care” programme .. , a collaboration of 26 area eateries and the King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) that will allow diners to choose to add JD1 to their bill, which will go entirely towards supporting patients currently undergoing cancer treatment at the King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC).” From article in Jordan Times by Victoria Macchi (dating May 2006 so these numbers may have changed or increased since)

One of these spots is Cantaloupe, a trendy restaurant/bar we visited:

You’re helping without making an effort and 1JD of say a 70JD ($100) bill is petty change when you think about it. Everyone is automatically making this donation. Of course, you also have the option to not make the donation, but you’d have to notify your waiter in advance.

What I noticed in Jordan is that supporting such causes is a widespread initiative that’s inbred in their daily habits. I’ve seen this in Lebanon, but it’s usually through large fund-raising events or a specific order on the menu (like at Classic Burger for the Classic Cheese). Doing something as subtle as what these participating restaurants is doing makes donating as much a part of your dining experience as tipping the waiter.

And to be honest, how many people would actually ask to not have 1JD donated from their bill if they can afford to dine at these establishments?

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Johnny #

    Would be nice to see this kind of thing pick up in the region. It won’t cost the restaurants a loss (on the contrary), and it will up their value since they’d be demonstrating some social responsibility in their society. I’m amazed that something this simple hasn’t already been widely implemented yet in the region.

    March 1, 2011

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