In Brazil, just as in the states, it is very common for members of the homeless community to collect and sell recyclables. But what isn't common is to see one of those same individuals dine at at a fancy restaurant - especially one where average meals cost $100.
But that’s exactly what happened when a man walked into Benvindo, a high-end restaurant in Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. According to waiter Felipe Rodrigues Fontes, 21, the man approached the waiters on the porch and ordered a meal. "He said he made a point of paying, that he wanted to pay with his sweat. He was with $ 50, "he said.
He and a colleague met him, offering the menu and suggestions. The customer opted for an executive lunch, which includes an appetizer, main course and dessert. According to Fontes, the total bill came to $121.80. But when he asked for the bill, the owners of the restaurant directed the waiter to waive the charge.
Instead of accepting the free meal, however, the man politely refused and insisted on paying for the meal with the money he had earned from collecting the cans.
“He truly wanted to pay for it,” Fontes told Correio Braziliense.
When it became apparent that the man was not budging in his position, the waiter agreed to charge him $10 – although, he says that he “had to lie, saying it was an ongoing promotion, because the man had $50 and was refusing to get the $40 change.”
A customer having lunch with her friends took a picture of the man and the waiter and posted it to a private Instagram, saying: “We just watched a great example of compassion and synergy. The ease of this guy made me think about the many paths we choose in life trying to be happy … and many times, it’s in the simplest and most truthful and unexpected way that is is closer and more accessible than we realize.”