A restaurant owner posted a sign on his door that quickly went viral and garnered praise across the internet (video below).
Yahya Hashemi, the co-owner of Marche Ferdous, a Mediterranean restaurant in Montreal, decided to hang the sign on his door to invite anyone and everyone into his restaurant — no matter if they could afford it or not.
“People with no money welcome to eat for free,” the sign read.
The sign is relatively inconspicuous, but has brought many hungry people to his restaurant that might not have been able to eat otherwise. Hashemi said they consider the free food, which they’ve been serving for about five months, to be a business expense.
“We don’t think about how much it will cost us,” he told CBC.
The staff serves around four of five free meals per day, and do not ask the customers any questions about their financial situation.
Hashemi said he got the idea after he noticed how many people in his area asked for spare change. He started giving those individuals money to spend in his restaurant, but ultimately felt it would be easier to welcome them to eat for free.
“Some are shy, some don’t believe we are offering this,” he said.
Hashemi, who immigrated from Iran, said his faith played a major role in his decision to offer free food. He believes that people will be genuine and not try to take advantage of his policy. Some customers have actually been donating money to the restaurant so it can continue its efforts to feed those who can’t afford to eat.
“They come here, they donate $20, $30, $50 and they say ‘OK, the next few people are on me,” Hashemi said.
The amazing act of generosity quickly went viral, with many people praising the owner for his actions.
“He’s created a small community with a culture of compassion. How could we do that in our lives? What would happen if we all did that? How quickly do you think the world would change for the better? Definitely worth a try!” one reader wrote on Shared’s Facebook page.
“God bless him,” another added.
Sources: CBC, Shared/Facebook / Photo credit: Shared/Facebook