A New Orleans “social experiment” restaurant is asking white customers to pay more for their meals—all in the name of “wealth redistribution.”
The restaurant, a temporary vegetarian Nigerian restaurant called Saartj, asks white customers voluntarily to pay $30 for lunch, instead of the standard price of $12.
Black customers, likewise, are offered lunch for $12—but are given to option to collect $18 from a white person, as a way to redistribute wealth. Well-off black customers who offered to pay the $30 for lunch—the white price—were denied the ability to do so.
The owner of the restaurant, Tunde Wey, explained to website Civil Eats that his restaurant experiment plans to education people about the “racial wealth gap.” And he isn’t shy about explaining to white customers why they should pay more.
“I start by asking them what they think the racial wealth gap is and then share stats about [how it manifests in] New Orleans and nationally,” he explained. He added that the experiment was intended to put “positive social pressure” on white customers, so they would voluntarily try to fix the racial wealth gap.
Incidentally, Wey reported that 78 percent of his white guests did, in fact, choose to pay more for the same meal—generally because they were guilted into it by Wey.
“Refusing to pay more comes off as anti-social and people don’t want to be judged for that,” Wey explained. “People look on the other side of the till and see me standing there and they’re thinking that I’m judging them. If they couldn’t pay a higher amount, they gave a me a list of caveats why they couldn’t.”
However, while Wey managed to guilt plenty of white people into paying more, black customers did respond nearly as favorably: 76 percent of black diners refused to take the $18 in “redistribution”—suggesting that, outside of liberal political circles, there might not be nearly as much appetite for race-based social “justice.”