These soups are on the menu at Rooster Soup Co., a restaurant in Philadelphia that donates 100% of its proceeds to help Philadelphians in poverty. These soups are on the menu at Rooster Soup Co., a restaurant in Philadelphia that donates 100% of its proceeds to help Philadelphians in poverty. A view of some of the delicious dishes at Michael Solomonov's Rooster Soup Co. in Philadelphia. (Photo: Michael Persico/Rooster Soup Co. Facebook)

Eat lunch, do good: Soup restaurant donates 100% to charity

This new eatery makes giving to charity easier – and more delicious – than ever.

What did you spend your last lunch break doing? Probably eating lunch, right? A necessary act, for sure, but not exactly an altruistic one. (And no, picking up the tab for your significant other doesn't count. Sorry.)

Well, what if you could spend your next one literally giving your lunch money to someone in need – while also enjoying a delicious meal?

That's the idea behind Rooster Soup Co., a new restaurant in Center City Philadelphia. It's the product of a partnership between the Broad Street Ministry, an outreach organization for impoverished Philadelphians, and the acclaimed culinary duo behind Federal Donuts and Zahav – Israeli-born James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner Steven Cook.

Michael Solomonov, executive chef of Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia and author of "Zahav" cookbook, is behind the Rooster Soup Co., a nonprofit restaurant that donates 100% of restaurant proceeds to charities that help impoverished Philadelphians.Michael Solomonov is the executive chef of Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia and author of "Zahav" cookbook. (Photo: Courtesy)

The project came about as a response to a problem many restaurateurs face: excess food waste. Solomonov noticed that at his beloved fried-chicken-and-donuts-spot, Federal Donuts, he was disposing of large batches of chicken parts every day. What if he could make broth out of those parts, instead of throwing them away?

"My first thought was to just donate soup," Solomonov told Zagat. "But, Rev. Bill Golderer [of Broad Street Ministry] had a better idea, which was to open a restaurant built around the soup broth. BSM provides hospitality to those in need. It's something that most of us take for granted."


Thus, the partnership became less about donating and more about actively providing for people in need on a daily basis. Rooster Soup, which opened just this week, now turns 500 pounds of spare chicken parts into soup. And since all profits go to charity, you can easily be a part of the cause – just by eating there.

In the future, Solomonov said he'd like to see more Rooster locations pop up. But for now, "we have to get this one going first."

Oh, and if soup isn't your thing, don't write it off so fast: Rooster also has sandwiches, breakfast, desserts and a full bar.

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