Seva Cafe organizing peer-to-peer food sharing

Why did we select this case?

Seva Cafe started as a pay-it-forward experiment to facilitate peer-to-peer food-sharing, it turned into a full operation, running seven days a week and serving around 60 guests daily. This case reflects an interesting initiative as the inititiaters turned the assumption of scarcity into abundance and successfully facilitate sharing food with strangers.  

About the case

Seva Cafe launched in 2006 in Ahmedabad, India, as an experiment in peer-to-peer generosity and sharing food. 

The whole organization is run on a daily basis by seven to eight volunteers who make and serve meals to guests. Based on the model of gift economy, the meals are served as an unconditional gift, with no price. Guests may choose to pay or volunteer with the organization, but they aren’t required to do either. The bill at Seva cafe reads “0/-” with only this footnote, 

“Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those who dine after you.” - Seva Cafe

The entire financial process and operation is completely transparent and run by the energy of giving. Seva Cafe is also famously known as “Karma Kitchen” in many countries. It is part of a larger trend of pay-it-forward restaurants.