This European City’s Number One Restaurant Is Staffed Entirely By Prisoners

For the finest dining in Cardiff, go directly to jail.

image via youtube screen capture

Fans of Orange Is the New Black likely remember cringing during a particularly awkward episode of the breakout Netflix prison series, in which inmates of the fictional Litchfield penitentiary engage in a mock job fair, in order to prepare themselves for life after incarceration. It’s an episode played both for laughs, and ultimately, poignancy, as we come to understand just how out of sync the penal system’s idea of vocational training is with both the world outside the prison’s walls, and the characters within. The episode is, of course, fiction, but not necessarily that far removed from the reality seen by show creator Piper Kerman, a former inmate herself.

A select group of prisoners in Europe, however, have reason to be proud of their vocational training. The Clink – a cheekily named high end restaurant staffed entirely by inmates currently serving time – was recently voted the best restaurant in the UK city of Cardiff, beating out nearly 1,000 other local eateries. We’ve written about The Clink before, but now it seems they’ve gone from being both an innovative dining experience, and experiment in prison reform, to become the top dog in a crowded industry known for being insanely competative.

This month, users of travel site Tripadvisor named the restaurant their number one top choice for eating in the Welsh capital, peppering its profile page with glowing reviews which praise The Clink for both its exceptional food, and impeccable service. One diner goes so far as to claim the inmate’s service is “better than we have had in some starred restaurants.” High praise, considering The Clink took top honors from a field of 946 professionaly run restaurants, none of the others of which are associated with the penal system.

On its website, The Clink describes its goal as to:

reduce reoffending rates of ex-offenders by training and placing graduates into employment upon their release, with the support of Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

We offer a genuine opportunity for prisoners to change their lives, giving them true-to-life work experience and nationally recognized NVQ City & Guilds food preparation, food service and cleaning qualifications.

According to the South Wales Evening Post, The Clink serves nearly 100 customers for both breakfast and lunch, and pays its staff of 30 inmate employees £14 an hour. In addition to the Cardiff location, The Clink Charity, the umbrella organization behind this prison innovation, operates two other prisoner-run restaurants in the UK cities of High Down, and Brixton, with a fourth opening this spring in Styal.

Here’s a glimpse of what eating, and working, at The Clink is like:

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading