We are a Hand-up Nonprofit Cafe

about us

A place where everyone is welcome

Welcome to A Place at the Table. We are a nonprofit cafe where everyone is invited to join us for a wonderful dining experience — regardless of means. We are confident your breakfast, brunch or lunch experience will exceed your tastebud’s expectations and add a go-giving smile to your day. Our hope is that you will leave our special cafe with a full belly and open heart. And that you will tell others about the cafe and how they can also “vote with their dollars” to be a part of building a strong community.


A Place at the Table provides community and good food for all regardless of means.

Learn more

Maggie Kane speaking at TEDx Cary eventOur Story and Operating Model

It’s time to soup kitchen 2.0 this community. Watch a TEDx talk where founder and executive director Maggie Kane outlines the need, vision, and operating model of A Place at the Table.


Watch TED Talk

News and Press

Stay up to date with all things A Place at the Table.


See the Latest

A Place at the Table staffMeet the Staff

Our cafe is staffed by coffee loving, community minded adminstration, kitchen staff and baristas. Get to know the team!


Get to Know

A group photo of table board of directors' membersMeet the Board

A Place at the Table is run by our incredibly dedicated Board of Directors.


Get to Know

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does pay-what-you-can pricing mean?

Customers have multiple options to pay and to pay-it-forward:

  • Pay the suggested price.
  • Pay less than the suggested price.
  • By volunteering with us for a meal.


Pay it Forward:

  • Donate online
  • Tip at the register to fulfill our mission.
  • Buy a $10 PLACE Card to hand out in the community.

2. Have there been any changes to pay-what-you-can pricing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

As of October 22, 2020, we are asking all our diners to do one of the following:

  • Pay the suggested price.
  • Pay a donation of $3 for their meal.
  • Pay with a PLACE Card from a nonprofit partner or community supporter.


The exception to the above will be for our families with children, who are always welcome to order a meal free of charge.


These changes are temporary and are aimed at helping us continue to serve our community during these unprecedented times – our mission remains unchanged!

3. What does volunteering for a meal involve?

All meal volunteers are properly matched to the function that best suits their abilities. Some may be working in the kitchen, some may work in the outside seated areas, and some may be doing tasks like washing windows, wiping tables, cleaning dishes, etc.

Like every other restaurant in Raleigh, we are licensed and follow all rules and regulations by the Health Department. Volunteers are required to follow all health guidelines. 

Core volunteers are different. We have a set schedule of volunteers who are with us each week. These people are trained and can do most anything in the restaurant. They assist the hourly/monthly/quarterly volunteers with different tasks.

One must be 15 and older to volunteer.

Visit the volunteer page to learn more.

4. Where does my donation go if I donate more than the suggested price?

If you contribute more, it will help A Place at the Table meet our mission to help those who experience food insecurity in our community. Our cafe’s operation model shows that at least 80% of patrons pay the suggested price in order for us to sustain and continue our work.


Click here to learn more about donations.

5. How is this different from a soup kitchen?

Short answer is Choice! We feed all people a healthy, dignified meal that they choose. 

Soup kitchens are needed and provide a basic necessity: food. However, that is all they do. We operate as a regular restaurant providing patrons the choice of healthy food items and a dignified dining experience. We encourage people to eat together and enjoy their meals together. Watch Maggie’s TED Talk to learn more about our business model.

6. Is A Place at the Table a nonprofit or for-profit?

This is part of our magic and how we differentiate from other restaurants. A Place at the Table looks and operates like a for-profit restaurant, but we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our EIN number is 47-2959935. 


P.S. Check with your employer’s gift matching program to see if they match donations.

7. If I want to buy someone else’s meal, how much does it cost?

We sell PLACE Cards for $10. They are available at the checkout counter. Take the card with you and give it to a friend or someone who needs healthy food, dignity and community.

Best way to support the cafe is to become a sustaining member. Your monthly donation will contribute to providing meals.

8. What kind of food do you serve on the menu?

Our award winning menu consists of breakfast, brunch and lunch items. We have biscuits, eggs grits, waffles and a full service coffee bar. Our coffee and espresso items are made with beans from Black & White Coffee Roasters.


Our lunch items include salads, sandwiches, and some other creative dishes. We offer vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian options. Please see our menu page for more details.

9. What will my experience be like?

Picture any coffee shop you walk into. You walk in and order at the counter. You choose whatever you want on the menu and then check out. As you checkout, you will have multiple ways to pay. You can choose to pay more or less than the suggested price at the register. We will bring your food to you as you sit at the community table, a bar stool, or another table in the cafe.

You can take your food to go. We will call your name when it’s ready.

10. I don’t live in the Triangle, but I love the concept. How can I help?

If you are financially able, please consider making a monetary donation.

If not, that is okay. We would love for you to stay involved and for you to follow us on our social media platforms. Stay-up-to-date on our blogs and newsletters and see what we are doing. We love hearing from you at our email address as well: info@tableraleigh.org

11. How can I get involved?

Visit the take action page to view all the ways you can get involved with our nonprofit!

If you have any questions or ideas contact:

info@tableraleigh.org for general nonprofit questions.

Amanda at amanda@tableraleigh.org for cafe questions.

Emily at volunteer@tableraleigh.org for volunteer questions.

Andrew at andrew@tableraleigh.org for questions on to-go or food related questions.

12. Who are you serving?

Short answer is everyone! We are an inclusive nonprofit cafe. We serve everyone. We believe that all people deserve dignity to eat in a restaurant and deserve dignity towards a healthy, affordable meal. Wherever you may come from, you are welcome to dine with us. And we hope you will.

13. Are there other Table locations or pay-what-you-can cafes?

A Place at the Table in downtown Raleigh, NC is our only location.

However, we are proud to serve alongside the more than 60 other pay-what-you-can restaurants in the global One World Everybody Eats network. Head west to Boone, NC and you’ll find our mentor restaurant, F.A.R.M. Cafe, one of the most successful models in the country.

14. How many employees work at A Place at the Table?

We have 15+ employees: an executive chef, cafe manager, executive director, manager of volunteer engagement, administrative assistant, baristas, sous-chefs, and more! Learn more about our staff here. Interested in joining the team? Check out our job listings here.

15. What does “community table” mean?

A Place at the Table believes in the power of community. We believe that food can and will bring us together because we all have to eat and we all love to eat. We have communal tables where people from all walks of life and backgrounds can sit together. We encourage people to sit and begin conversation. We have conversation topics that can help initiate conversation.

We know that pay-what-you-can cafes are a new concept for a lot of people. With that in mind, we pulled together our FAQs. If we haven’t answered your question, please email us at info@tableraleigh.org.


Be a part of the movement to address local food insecurity with email updates.



Dine at the cafe, pay the suggested price to help cover our operating costs or pay it forward.

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Take action to help us fulfill our mission by volunteering, dining or donating.

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