Re: Commonhouse Meals follow up
From: R.P. Aditya (
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 12:21:39 -0800 (PST)
For Great Oak Cohousing in Ann Arbor, Michigan

On Fri, Feb 01, 2008 at 09:23:12AM -0500, Ruth Hirsch wrote:
> The question, follow-up question from our neighbor to communities  
> [most, I think]re:  reimbursing cooks based on expenditure rather  
> than on # of diners is:  Do cooks--some cooks-- over spend, feel they  
> have carte blanche for example to buy a convenience product to save  
> time.  Or what some might consider a more pricey meal than if they  
> financial constraints?   [Am betting this is not a problem, but was  
> asked to ask!]

cooks aim to keep the costs low, and diners learn over time which cooks are
meeting their desired costs and don't sign up if it seems a particular cook
(or menu) is problematic

> How do diners pay?  Cash? Scrip?  Other method?

check at the end of the month, or if they are also a cook, they can apply
their reimbursement towards their monthly bill

> How often do you have meals?

5 times a week on average

> Are any potluck?  If so are they spontaneous or planned potlucks?

both and involving different numbers of people -- 2 planned per month along
with 2 neighboring cohousing communities

> Approximately how many cooks to how many diners?

1 head cook (4 hours of work credit), 2 asst cooks (2 hours of work credit)
and 3 cleaners (1.5 hours of work credit) and averaging 30 adults and 10 kids
per meal (some cooks and cleaners work longer than that amount of time, some
less, depends on the person and the menu and the number of diners)

> How long before a meal do diners need to sign up?

we have online signup and the cook decides when to "close" signups, typically
the night before is when they close the signups

> What are the costs to diners: Adults/youth?

average $4.50 over the last 900+ meals for adults, teens are 75% of the adult
price, kids 7-13 are 50% of adult and kids 6 and below eat for free

> How is available money to cooks decided/ie, how much can a cook spend  
> on a meal?

cooks discretion

> How are cooks re-imbursed?

by check or apply their reimbursement to their dining bill

> How do diners pay:  cash?  Scrip?  Other system?

check at the end of the month

> Leftovers?

offered to diners first, then it is open to anyone, then compost/trash
depending on the season with the aim of reducing wasted/thrown away food

lots more mechanical signup and billing details at:

hope that helps,
Great Oak Cohousing
Ann Arbor, MI

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