Wrocław café creates a buzz by encouraging people to buy food and drink for those in need

Receipts for meals cover the Bar Jedzonko notice board. Bar Jedzonko/Facebook

A Wrocław cafe has embraced the spirit of the season of goodwill by encouraging customers to not only pay for their own coffee and meal but also buy a meal for someone in need.

Bar Jedzonko has put up a cork message board where clients can pin a receipt, which can then be collected and used for someone in real need of a hot drink or food. Since the board went up on November 12 it has become festooned with receipts left by patrons eager to help.

The receipts pay for someone in need to have a good meal.Bar Jedzonko/Facebook

The café has embraced a system in which people can buy a “Zawieszona Kawa”, or “Coffee on Hold", and is now operated in 40 restaurants and cafes across Poland.

“When it comes to the supporters of the initiatives we have seen both women and men, mostly in the age group of 30-60,” said Agnieszka Wojtowicz, co-owner of Bar Jedzonko. “When it comes to the receivers of the pre-purchased dishes, young men, who have had temporary challenges in life, as well as seniors, who have been on a tight budget, have participated. We decided to cut down our margins to 0 percent and provide a 10 percent discount on each dish which is being pre-purchased to help individuals to support each other.”

“After our social media post restaurants surprisingly started reaching out to us, to ask for information about the initiative,” says Antonina Grzelak.Antonina Grzelak/Facebook

The café’s good-hearted activities, especially hosting a Christmas meal for the lonely and the retired, has won praise from a local council in Wrocław. Krystyna Sawińska, president of the Ołtaszyn Estate Council, wrote a post on the café’s Facebook page expressing her “sincere thanks” for Bar Jedzonko’s efforts.

Helping the café and all the restaurants organise their charity work has been PanParagon, or MrReceipt, an app made by the Polish fin-tech company Primesoft Polska. The company behind the app, which scans and organises receipts, has helped spread the word about “Coffee on Hold” after it used social media to publicise it.  

The idea of the paying for someone else is spreading, with a number of restaurants and cafes in Warsaw already operating the initiative. PanParagon

 “After our social media post restaurants surprisingly started reaching out to us, to ask for information about the initiative,” Antonina Grzelak, public relations manager of Primesoft, told Forbes. “We decided to provide a helping hand and aggregate all the restaurants that have been participating in Poland and abroad, thus we have created a digital map of all spots. Owners of restaurants thought that we have been leading the initiative, what was incorrect, thus we just decided to provide all of the resources needed to see it grow.”