Restaurants Restoring Our Faith in Humanity Slideshow

A restaurant regular had been looking for the right moment to pay a good deed forward

Brooklyn Restaurant Goes Pay-What-You-Want

After Panera Bread opened a successful pay-what-you-want store in Missouri, Williamsburg, N.Y., restaurant Santorini Grill decided to follow a pay-what-you-want model for two months. Owner Paula Douralas noted that the initial press brought more people in, some paying more than what they owe, others paying nothing at all. And while the numbers did even out in the end, Santorini Grill closed a couple months later as foot traffic decreased.

Ohio Pizza Truck Stands Up to Homophobia

Two men were huddling for warmth and holding hands in line at Mikey’s Late Night Slice Truck in Columbus, Ohio, when a man in front of them told them to "cut our gay sh*t out." "I didn't expect what happened next but almost every single person in that line made it known to him it was not OK for him to speak to us like that,” one of the men, Joel Diaz, wrote in a Facebook post. Even better, food truck workers piped in as well. "The best part though was as he grew more irate and vocal the guys who work the truck told him they would not serve him because he was spewing hate and that he should get out of line," Diaz wrote.

Pizzeria Hires Inner-City Adults to Avoid Homelessness

Cincinnati pizzeria Venice on Vine, funded by Power Inspires Progress, hires inner-city adults looking to overcome obstacles and become economically stable. The entire culinary team is made of up trainees from Power Inspires Progress, and Facebook posts include shout-outs to workers such as, "Congratulations to Bonnie, who passed her SafeServ exam today with flying colors! YIPPEE!!!!"

Missouri Cupcake Shop Starts Random Acts of Kindness

Owners of The Sweet Tooth in Blue Springs, Mo., decided to start random acts of kindness by giving two dozen cupcakes to their first customer of the day. That inspired other acts (all involving cupcakes, of course), including giving the sweets to a family coping with a parent with cancer, dropping cupcakes off for Salvation Army bell ringers, and handing out gift certificates. The shop hopes to fulfill at least 20 acts of kindness, to honor the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Restaurant Chain Workers Donate Tips to Sandy Hook

Photo Modified: Flickr/Social Woodlands

After tragedy hit Sandy Hook Elementary, workers at two Connecticut Cheesecake Factory restaurants decided to donate 100 percent of their tips earned on Wednesday, Jan. 2 to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Fund. The Cheesecake Factory company then matched the amount raised.

Restaurants Step Up for Sandy Relief

As New York City, and especially surrounding areas, were hit hard by the storm, restaurateurs stepped up their doing-good game by offering free food, hosting communal cookouts, and delivering food to people without any power. Places like Brooklyn Kitchen planned a trip to donate diapers, warm clothes, and shoes, and the handsome devils behind The Meatball Shop gave out free meatballs in exchange for blanket donations, while multiple food trucks drove out free meals (even on Thanksgiving), and big-shot names hosted benefit dinners. It was the restaurant industry at its best.