Hiring out common meals
From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 14:14:01 -0700 (MST)
Hiring out common meals is not something I have seen any cohousing groups
do, but I have seen lots of intentional communities that specialize jobs
such as cooking. A typical system would be a head cook, a helper with
volunteer cleanup on rotation. The cooks job  is to own the planning, and
production for meals. The helper shows up at a regular time to  do prep
work, usually with the cooks supervision, but sometimes not. Since economies
vary widely from community to community how the cook gets paid is like how
anybody else gets paid. Sometimes its money, sometimes its community work
credit, etc. etc. Offhand I can think of about a dozen communities where
cooking meals is a community job, and I am sure there are lots more,
especially in larger communities where this kind of specialization is

At Sharingwood we "pay cooks" in free meals, which have a value attached. If
you cook more than you eat you would get paid, but not very much. We do have
the situation where one couple seems to cook a great deal each month, and
since meals have been apparently slowly declining, having these people cook
more means meals happen, thus it is a fine thing as far as I hear.

I think if the group were willing to bump up the meal cost to say $5 a head,
with 30 eaters somebody might be willing to cook for money, especially if
they liked cooking anyway. People who are into cooking get great
satisfaction from making good stuff and having people enjoy it.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood, NE of Seattle, where there is a house and a lot for sale

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at] cohousing.org
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at] cohousing.org]On Behalf Of Michael D
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 9:25 AM
To: cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Common Meals

I'm exploring options for common meals.

Has anyone tried hiring people to prepare, serve, and clean up
after common meals - like a private one-meal restaurant?

If anyone has tried it, how much did it cost per person?  What
advantages and disadvantages did you experience from it?

If you haven't tried it, what advantages and disadvantages do
you imagine from doing it that way?

Another option: Has anyone tried making cooking, serving, and
cleaning up after common meals one of the jobs people take on
for the benefit of the community?  So, in other words, some
people take care of the lawn and plants, some clean the common
house, some do the financial work, and some handle the meals.
That way people who like meal preparation do that and those
that prefer some other contribution do that instead.

What advantages and disadvantages have you experienced or do
you imagine from doing it that way?

Heart Song Community
Santa Fe, NM


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