July 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

No Kid Goes Hungry at Café Del Rey? I’ll Have a WTFsicle!

Just in from the “let them eat cake” department, Venice adjacent Café Del Rey emailed us that they have partnered with Share Our Strength’s Great American Dine Out presented by American Express from September 21-28, 2008 to give 2% of all of their dessert sales to said charity. That’s right … they are going to help stamp out childrens’ hunger with 2% donated from their dessert menu.

YoVenice is all about charities but this is just a big bunch of BS and TOTALLY INSULTING to us. For example .. let’s say Keri and I bicycle over there for dinner …

cafe del rey.png

For starters we will get:
dungeness crab cake: $17
truffle pizza $26

For our main we will try:
alaskan halibut $34
filet mignon $38

We like the vino .. so add $40 for a bottle of sumthin’ sumthin’.

Dessert: (Most all of the desserts are 10 bucks)
black & blueberry shortcake $10
molten chocolate cake $10

Anywho .. all added up .. Café Del Rey is taking in $175 … with tip make it $208.25 … and for all that helping Café Del Rey out .. they will give 2% of $20 bucks to help starving children.

Final score for Café Del Rey’s charity drive:
Café Del Rey: $208.25 + tax
Starving Kids: $ .40 cents

Gimme a slice of BS with that order Café Del Rey, umK thx.

Café Del Rey
4451 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

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  • I thought the same thing when I got this email yesterday! Could it be a misprint? Though really, to make this “fundraiser” worthwhile, they’d have to donate all of the dessert proceeds or a larger chunk of the whole bill.
    And BTW, not sure if you noticed, but this is the second email they’ve sent me where they’ve spelled THE NAME OF THEIR OWN RESTAURANT wrong in the sender field. Unreal.

  • Easy now – they are giving to charity. It might not be much, but it is more than on a normal night, which is 0%. More importantly, they are telling you upfront exactly how much they are giving to charity and not going with the typical “a portion of the proceeds.”

    While I agree that this isn’t the world’s most magnanimous gesture and that they are clearly doing it as a promotional tool, I don’t think they should be torn apart for not giving enough.

    Also, it strikes me that this is an American Express program and that American Express probably set the terms, not Cafe del Rey. If thats the case, it is probably a national program, which means there is a multiplier effect. Again, could be better, but better than nothing.

  • I’m trying to find out the details because the share-our-strength website doesn’t make it sound like there is 1 set of terms for the restaurants.

    My thoughts are – 2% is about the transaction fee Amex charges merchants. I can’t imagine that Amex would be like – we will skip the 2% fee on desserts only if you participate with this charity, but I can imagine them saying they will skip the transaction fee for all transactions within that week. or lower the fee by 2% (some might have higher terms with Amex.) It just seems suspicious that it’s a 2% donation and that’s the average merchant processing fee.

    Also, we’d like to thank one of our readers, Richard, for sending an email directly to Cafe del Rey to express his feelings: “[Yo! Venice!] did the math, and your two-percent dessert offer is BS.”

    Standby for details…

  • Update: The restaurants do not appear to get any direct monetary benefit (i.e. reduced fees) but they sure get a LOT of promotion for participation:


    The restaurants are encouraged to donate between 1-5% of their sales or donate a percentage of a selected menu item. I guess Cafe del Rey chose the latter. Who knows – maybe they sell a shi*t load of dessert!

    Personally speaking – I have been wanting to go to Cafe del Rey for a while now (never been) and if they had been offering a percentage of the whole bill as the donation, I would have been motivated to go. But just the dessert and only 2%? I will seek out what other restaurants are participating with a better donation. So rather than get my $200 in order to donate 40cents, they are getting zero of my dollars.

    They should have thought that through a little.

  • I agree with Phil. I have done a bit of research on this program and there are thousands of restaurants participating in this program.

    If each restaurant gives a little, and thousands of restaurants are participating, it could raise quite a bit of money. In this economy to be criticizing a restaurant who is trying to help is what is SHAMELESS regardless of the level of participation! Also, Share Our Strength is who set the suggested levels of participation according to what I have read on their website.

    For all of you out there who feel the need to slam someone who is trying to do something good in this world, you really need to find a better way to spend your time.

  • Ok Chris and Phil .. lets use our numbers x 100 to see how things add up for the night.

    Final score for Café Del Rey’s charity drive:
    Café Del Rey: $20,828.00 + tax
    Starving Kids: $ 40 dollars

    I am still calling TOTAL BS .. the numbers are far too disparate to be remotely “charitable” in regard to advertising this as some big charity event.

    Sure .. it is nice they are giving 40 bucks a night for 7 nights .. tallying something around $280 … while they haul in an assumed $145,796 …

    Those are just not numbers you can advertise your super loving and giving charity about.

  • This IS a bunch of BS. There are PLENTY of ways for restaurants to help charity… this is helping THEMSELVES.
    And yes, i do have better things to do with my time… but i think it’s important to SPEAK UP when i think something is just plain wrong.
    btw this took me under 30 seconds to type.

  • I’m all for supporting charity, and you are right that every little bit adds up. But…the restaurant gets an awful lot of promotion via the Share our Strength website, presence on the American Express website, stickers for their windows and other “look at how much we care” paraphernalia, etc…which makes their estimated $280 contribution quite beneficial for THEM. The charity does suggest donation amounts: 1-5% of sales. Don’t you think the restaurant peeked at their sales and knows what 2% of their desserts amounts to? Yeah the economy is in a bad state right now – but this charitable donation is 0.19% of their total sales. 0.19%. If they promoted this charity by saying “We’ll donate 0.19% of our sales to feed starving children!” wouldn’t that seem rather uncharitable?

  • BS for sure. I’ve been here, the foods good, but very pricey. Surely they could have been a little more reasonable to the charity.

  • Ha – and I just read the “happy hour from 4:05pm-7:10pm. And to make it even easier, valet parking is on us.”

    To make what easier? Remembering the most bizarre happy-hour hours ever?

  • Chris:

    It didn’t take me more than two minutes to write the cranky e-mail letter to the cafe. And, being the kind of guy I am, I didn’t count it against the four hours I spent this Saturday volunteering to read to inner city school kids.

    You can have a life of charitable acts AND be cranky, too. Isn’t it great to live in America?

  • keri // Sep 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Ha – and I just read the “happy hour from 4:05pm-7:10pm. And to make it even easier, valet parking is on us.”

    MADD would love that one.

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