// Melbourne’s pioneering ‘pay as you feel’ restaurant, Lentil As Anything, is closing it’s doors in Abbottsford if the Convent Foundation have their way.
Lentil As Anything has layed a benchmark for not only training refugees or disadvantaged and long-term unemployed in vital workplace skills, but also introducing the notion of generosity in the service industry. However recently Maggie Maguire, the Abbottsford Convent Foundation chairperson, has thrown the entire idea down the drain with the instruction that the board will not be renewing tender on the iconic spot, based on the fact that the convent is likely to draw a much higher paying tenant if they re-lease. Of course, it’s all about making a buck.
Despite the fact that Lentil As Anything has held tender for over five years, and was the first establishment to be apart of the convent’s refurbishment, Maguire‘s kicking them to the curb in order to make way for what will inevitably be some sort of profit-focused scheme. Is the fact that Lentil As Anything has become a cultural landmark in Melbourne and the possibility that three sponsorships for people on Immigration Department-approved visas could be in jeopardy mean much at all? How important is it that the convent make money, when the service Lentil’s provides to the wider community at large is beyond that of profit building? A slap in the face of Lentil’s generous outlook, greed has unfortuanely won. Unless the community can stop them.
A group of regular diners at the restaurant have paid good money to start an online petition to appeal to the convent board and with any luck have them reverse the decision, and consign a mutually agreeable tender. Please show your support by signing the online petition here.
// Dan Z