Paris diners pay with washing-up

Marketing stunt saw restaurant bills expressed in plates, pans and cutlery instead of euros

23 October 2014

A WASHING-UP liquid company has offered Paris restaurant-goers the chance to eat for free - on condition that they do the dishes afterwards.

The marketing stunt, based on the old idea of washing up when you cannot afford to pay, saw diners at a popular bistro in the sixth arrondissement given a "bill" at the end of their meal expressed in dishes, cutlery and pans instead of euros.

Sinks were set up in the main dining area for customers to clean up after themselves. A basic starter involved washing up four knives or forks, while a bigger main dish would require a pan and several plates to be cleaned.

La Bastide d'Opio was renamed Mir Restaurant for the three-day stunt, named after the washing-up liquid brand behind the campaign.

If the pop-up restaurant had stayed open much longer, it could have run into trouble with the social contributions body Urssaf.

Last year, the group tried to fine a Brittany bar-owner €9,000 for asking customers to bring their glasses back to the counter - claiming it amounted to "illegal work".

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