Restaurant Charged White Customers More Because Of Racial Wealth Inequality
SAARTJ, a pop-up restaurant, in New Orleans tried to raise awareness of the racial pay gap by charging white customers more for their meals in February.
SAARTJ is run by Nigerian chef Tunde Wey who told Civil Eats that the standard price of $12 was available to all customers, but white customers were asked to pay $30:
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.
Wey then asked white customers: “So, how much do you want to pay?”
Wey recalled how white people reacted to the prices:
Refusing to pay more comes off as anti-social and people don’t want to be judged for that. 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.
Black customers were given the option to collect the $18 paid by a white customer to redistribute wealth.