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article imageFlorence restaurant lets patrons pay for food with fresh produce

By Alexandra Christopoulos     Sep 13, 2012 in Food
Florence - What if the next time you chose to dine out, you could leave your wallet behind at home? A new restaurant set to open in Florence, Italy, is about to make the prospect a reality, allowing patrons to pay for their meals with fresh produce, in lieu of cash.
Expected to open later this month, "L e Maiala" will open its doors with the idea of money not being everything. Visitors will be allowed the choice via the traditional method (cash or credit card) or an alternative option of paying in fruits, vegetables, handicrafts and other barter-able items.
Owner Donella Faggioli said the idea dawned on her after realizing she wanted to help give more choice to customers who may not otherwise be able to dine out in these tough economic times.
"With the crisis that we're all living through today, we've met those, who in times of hardship, think they cannot afford dinner -- but we counter that by offer the option to pay in good instead of real money," Faggioli told Corriere Fiorentino.
In exchange for their produce, visiting Tuscan diners will have their meals prepared what they bring, alongside other locally grown foods.
Another reason for introducing the concept, Faggioli told the press, was a desire to give visitors a cozy, home-like atmosphere, just like she remembered her grandmother's kitchen to be.
Although not a radical idea by any means, she admitted, such a simple of kindness proves that even in tough times, money isn't all.
In another English printed article, the Huffington Post reports some restaurants across the United States have also adapted the same method, and it has given business an added boost in trade credits.
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