Prisoner Run Restaurant Serves up Great Food (and Good Behavior)


The Welsh town of Cardiff is about to open a fine-dining restaurant, but not just any ol’ elite eatery. This one’s run by inmates of the local prison, according to an article in the Wales Today, and that is truly unique.

The Cardiff, Wales restaurant, which can seat 100 guests, is aptly named Clink, and aims to not only provide an opportunity for prisoners housed at the Category B prison, but will also focus on serving organic produce, grown at a nearby prison.

To work in the restaurant, inmates are selected based on a number of factors including security threat level, behavior and health. The staff of inmates, who will be monitored by surveillance cameras and alarms, will serve all the meals, and décor on the restaurant walls will also be the creation of inmates.

The idea for Clink came from an award-winning chef, Alberto Crisci, who opened a similar operation in Sutton, Surrey three years ago, training 85 prisoners in culinary techniques and restaurant service through the Clink Charity, which runs the operations with funding from individuals, businesses and sales generated through the restaurant. Inmates working on site are paid £15 ($23) for a 5-hour workday.

Clink’s unique opportunity has helped to reduce the reoffending rate among its inmate staff by 20 percent, claims the organization. A number of prisoners who have worked in the program have gone on to find jobs in the restaurant industry upon completing their prison terms.

The restaurant menu, which focuses on a regional diet, such as Scottish beef, venison ravioli and salmon mousse, has received high praises from food critics.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: nikoretro

Shares 0
Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites and, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better.