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In this pizza shop, all it takes is $1 and a Post-it note to pay it forward

In this pizza shop, all it takes is $1 and a Post-it note to pay it forward
Source: Facebook/RosasFreshPizza

At Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia, customers can pay it forward to help feed the homeless.

Paying it forward one slice at a time

The people of Philadelphia are paying it forward with thousands of slices of pizza at a restaurant that allows customers to buy a $1 slice for the hungry. With pizza starting at only $1 at Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, customers can pay it forward and help the homeless, one slice at a time. Our thanks to Upworthy for the video.

Rosa's provides 30-40 hot pizza slices every day!Source: Facebook/BrightVibes

The pay-it-forward program is modelled on an Italian tradition called “café suspesso”

Proprietor of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, Mason Wartman, 28, started the restaurant with $250,000 in savings after leaving his job on Wall Street in sell-side equity research.

"I had plateaued at my Wall Street job and had always wanted to own my own business," Wartman told ABC News. He returned to his hometown area in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia.

The idea of paying for others’ pizza ahead of time started when a customer wanted to buy a slice for someone in need. A sign informs customers that they can pay it forward.

"We keep our food reasonably priced so that our paying customers are able to pre-purchase slices that we give to homeless people in the area," said Wartman.

The restaurant is named after his mother, Rose. "I made it a little more Italian," Wartman said about the restaurant name. "She likes it. It’s definitely the most she’s ever been in the news."

The pay-it-forward program is modelled on an Italian tradition called “café suspesso,” common throughout Southern Italy, where customers can buy a coffee in advance for someone less fortunate.

Source: ABCNews

Mushroom Pizza against a backdrop of brightly coloured generosity “This is a super-easy way, a super-efficient way and a super-transparent way to help the homeless.” Source: RosasFreshPizza.com

Pay-it-forward generosity isn’t just limited to Italian cafes or one Philadelphia pizza shop

Even the big chains, including the bakery and sandwich chain Panera, have got in on the giving act.

At five ‘Panera Cares’ locations across the United States, there are no set menu prices. In a written statement, Panera spokesperson Kate McConnell told The Salt that the cafes "provide suggested donation amounts for all menu items to help guide those who would like to ‘pay it forward.’ " 

She says the money collected is used to cover the operating costs of the cafes, "while also covering the cost of the meals for those who come in and are unable to contribute the suggested donation amount."

Other chains’ pay-it-forward systems have grown organically. Starbucks Coffee Co. spokeswoman Sanja Gould says the company doesn’t have a formal system in place, but some customers ask to pay for others and some store partners may encourage customers to do so verbally.

"It happens for Starbucks all around the world," she says. The latte-giving spans a huge range. Gould says some people just offer to pay for the person behind them in line, while others "might load a certain dollar amount onto a Starbucks card and the store partners have it on hand and they keep adding to it as the line goes on."

Gould points to an impressive example: More than 1,000 customers at a Connecticut Starbucks paid it forward on Christmas Eve in 2013.

Wartman says the pay-it-forward method at his tiny Philly pizza shop has made him think about customers’ motivations.

"They’re just really nice people, you know? Sometimes homeless people buy them for other homeless people." 

He says people want to help but aren’t sure what to do. "This is a super-easy way, a super-efficient way and a super-transparent way to help the homeless."

Wartman doesn’t need to advertise, and he is receiving enough "paid forward" pizza that he does not have to turn away any of the homeless people who come in. He says word has spread within Philadelphia’s homeless community, and each day 30 to 40 homeless people come in asking for a free slice.

Source: TheSalt

Wonderwall: Rosa’a wall of generosity and compassion “We keep our food reasonably priced so that our paying customers are able to pre-purchase slices that we give to homeless people in the area,” said owner Mason Wartman. Source: RosasFreshPizza.com
Make an Impact

How to pay it forward: 4 Steps (with pictures)

The world can seem like an unfriendly, threatening place, yet we all want safety, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. How can one ordinary person—you or anyone—make a positive difference in this world? One way is the practice "paying it forward." While the steps might be simple, the outcome could create a sense of luck and good will that changes the world.