Northampton restaurant offers “sliding scale” pricing for low income customers

How does a business survive without being paid?

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Haymarket Cafe in Northampton is lending a helping hand for hungry customers in need.

The cafe started offering a “sliding scale” menu this past June. The sliding scale means that you pay what you can afford.

Owner Peter Simpson said he was nervous at first, but the response has been overwhelming and positive.

“This is what I need and this is what I can offer, as far as, what I’m paying today,” Simpson explained to 22News. “And we’re hoping that kind of generosity and goodwill will turn around to people being as honest and straight forward about it as possible.”

So how does a business survive without being paid? The customers who can pay, drop cash in a “common care tip jar,” to help those who can’t pay the full amount.

Simpson told 22News that customers who were unable to pay the full price do come back and leave money.

Haymarket Cafe is Northampton’s first restaurant to pay its employees $15 per hour and no tipping.