A “Marxist” “collectivist” “worker-run” restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan has closed.
According to Heatst, The Garden Diner and Cafe featured a vegan, vegetarian and raw food menu that had met with significant national acclaim. However, the business model, which did not allow for bosses or managers, didn't make enough profit.
Because of the strange model, restaurant hours were all over the place. Employees set the shop’s hours by group decision, which caused the restaurant to open at random times thus confusing customers.
The customers, by the way, would wait 40 minutes for a sandwich, according to posts on Facebook. Customers also thought that the “equal pay, no tipping” idea failed to reward good service.
“Because of our economy, people are working 12- to-15-hour shifts, servers take home $200 to $300 a night in tips, the cooks are making $10 an hour and the owner takes whatever he takes,” [operator Ryan] Cappelletti told MLive in 2011. “We're going to have equal pay and equal say across the board. Everyone working together.”
There were even some ironic hiccups. As Heatst reported, “When the diner offered a free meal to Grand Rapids police officers as a “thank you” for keeping their neighborhood safe, local socialists complained that the business was abrogating its core ideals by siding with fascists and supporting 'nearly all-white police force in this era of police violence'.”
Is it any wonder why this ended up being a flop?