Michèle Mehli, why do you donate a part of the proceeds from the restaurant Presswerk in Arbon?

Before the opening in 2018, we thought about how we would handle the consumption of tap water. It was clear to us that we do not want to and cannot provide this service for free. Serve, wash glasses, replace any broken glasses: That is effort that must be rewarded. But we were also aware that tap water for which a fee is charged is a sensitive issue. So we came up with the idea to donate half of the proceeds to a good cause.

The money is now going into a drinking water project in Chad. How did you come to SWISSAID?

I googled an aid organisation on the internet and came across SWISSAID there. I didn’t know the NGO, but I liked it straight away. The project was also a perfect fit: our tap water benefits a country where water is a very scarce commodity. We liked this idea.

Even the guests?

Yes, many find it a cool place! Some even show great interest and reach for the information flyer, which is available on the bar. There you will find information about Chad, SWISSAID and the project. But there are also guests who don’t care. Most of them are people who do not want to pay for tap water. They prefer to order an iced tea instead of a glass of tap water.

In 2019, a total of 1350 francs will have been collected. 12 villages – around 13,500 people in total – have benefited from the donation. What happens next?

We will continue the project safely! It’s not only good for the guests – it also gives us a good feeling.

Thank you for your support!

Michèle Mehli is head of the gastronomy presswerk in Arbon (TG). The old industrial building is now a lively cultural centre with restaurant, concerts and events.