More Than Just a Restaurant
At a time when many upscale New York eateries are struggling to pry open the wallets of an elite clientele that’s been feeling the pinch of a struggling economy, the owners of Rouge Tomate, the Michelin-starred midtown restaurant, are doing something unusual with their hard-earned revenue. They’re simply giving it away.
From December 21st through the 26th, Rouge Tomate donated 5% of its sales to Action Against Hunger. As a model for restaurants seeking to engage their patrons and give back to the community, this is an idea that could change the way we eat for the better.
"The shared commitment to health, well-being and sustainability make Rouge Tomate and Action Against Hunger a perfect fit." —Emmanuel Verstraeten, Rouge Tomate Founder and CEO
"We want to express gratitude for our good fortune by giving back to those less fortunate than ourselves," explains Emmanuel Verstraeten, Rouge Tomate's founder and CEO. "Action Against Hunger's programs are consistent with the values of our restaurant, and we couldn't be more pleased to support them."
Rouge Tomate and Action Against Hunger joined forces through Restaurants Against Hunger, an initiative that rallies the food and beverage industry to help fight global hunger. And from the very start, Rouge Tomate proved to be a deeply committed and enthusiastic partner among the hundreds of Restaurants Against Hunger participants.
The connection between Action Against Hunger and Rouge Tomate is obvious: both focus on food. But the connection goes even deeper. Rouge Tomate’s menu is built around locally-grown ingredients prepared in ways that heighten not only the taste of a dish but also its nutrition. It’s this attention to healthful, sustainable, and thoughtful eating that has made Action Against Hunger and Rouge Tomate natural partners.
As Mr. Verstraeten explains, "The shared commitment to health, well-being and sustainability make Rouge Tomate and Action Against Hunger a perfect fit."
Of course, one might think that restaurant patrons sitting down for a fine dinner may not appreciate being reminded of those less fortunate. But at Rouge Tomate, that hasn’t been the case.
"I think our guests find it satisfying to dine at a restaurant that doesn't only serve great food but helps serve a great cause as well," says Mr. Verstraeten.
Perhaps Rouge Tomate’s greatest contribution to the fight against hunger has been to show that a restaurant can succeed by being more than just a restaurant; it can be a force for good, a place where people can nourish both themselves and others halfway around the world.