San Francisco restaurant offers ‘pay what you can’ tacos weekly


The coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for many people, but one San Francisco restaurant wants to help out.

Earlier this week, Mexican restaurant Tato announced that it will be offering “pay what you can” taco plates once a week.

Between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Fridays, customers can pay anything between nothing and $10 for a taco plate, which includes two tacos and sides, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

When customers pay the full $10, Tato will give a free meal to someone in need in San Francisco. The program, called “Taco Love,” began on Friday.

“We know times are tough for so many right now, and TACO LOVE is our little way to try to brighten someone’s day in the way that sometimes only tacos can,” Tato wrote in a Facebook post earlier this week.

According to the Chronicle, Tato will operate normally for the rest of the week.

“There are a lot of people out there that at this moment who can benefit from getting a meal, whether you pay $10 or 10 cents,” Tato owner Kristin Houk told the newspaper. “There’s a lot of dignity in choice and people being able to come order a meal versus just being given a meal that’s already created.”

According to the Chronicle, Tato tried to offer “pay what you can” options when it first opened in 2018. The offering only lasted about six months because it wasn’t very popular.

However, with so many people laid off during the pandemic — especially people in the restaurant industry — Houk told the Chronicle she felt like it was important to start it up again.

When Tato restarted the program on Friday, the restaurant posted about it on Facebook.

“We know this pandemic has hit so many people in so many ways, including us,” the post said. “Today we are restarting our ‘pay what you can’ taco plate day and invite our neighbors and particularity restaurant and bar industry peeps to come enjoy tacos and pay what you can.”