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Eat & Drink

Will work for tacos? New taqueria barters for help

Posted by Liora Ipsum / May 13, 2014

tacos danforthTilde, a new contemporary taquiera currently in the works at 699 Danforth Ave. (at Pape), is employing a novel crowdsourcing scheme to help meet the deadline for its intended June opening. The restaurant is appealing to the public to participate in renovations - in exchange for the promise of free tacos.

Taco credits - one for each hour of work - can be earned by volunteering to paint or move furniture on Sunday, May 18 from noon 'til 4 pm. You'll be able to redeem them when the restaurant opens.

Unsure if the working for peanuts - er, tacos - is even worth it? Tilde is set to appear at the Toronto Underground Market on Saturday, May 17 to preview two selections from the upcoming menu that promises bold, unique flavours and multiple vegetarian options.

Photo (of El Tempo tacos) by Duc Banh via the blogTO Flickr pool.



Ryan / May 13, 2014 at 11:15 am
Taco restaurant built by hobos collapses. 6 dead.
Johnny Tattle-tale / May 13, 2014 at 11:18 am
This is illegal. I'm calling the ministry of labour on these fools. Also, what is the cost of a taco? 10 dollars?
Cinco de Mayo / May 13, 2014 at 11:21 am
Average price of a taco around town is $5, so you're getting paid $5/hr.
Dreaming / May 13, 2014 at 11:32 am
this place will not ever open..... soooooooooooo ya don't show up to paint or whatever else they want. one would think that if you were going to offer a barter that it would be a good deal? ex: 3 meals per hour worked? what the heck is 1 taco going to do for anyone
chiwawa / May 13, 2014 at 11:32 am
It's "volunteering", so its not illegal.
Dave K / May 13, 2014 at 11:32 am
What makes it illegal? It's clearly 'volunteering' to help out a new business. Nothing to do with payment / minimum wage / labour laws..
Gee / May 13, 2014 at 11:33 am
Lighten-up Francis.
Ray / May 13, 2014 at 11:36 am
Wow, what kind of business plan do they have? If you don't have the money to do it, don't go into business until your ready.
north / May 13, 2014 at 11:36 am
Pretty sure if you volunteer it's legal.
Call the Ministry all you want... it's not forced or paid labour.

You call them when you pick up your dog shit in the park?
Yikes / May 13, 2014 at 11:39 am
Their website is a hate crime for the eyes.
Katherine / May 13, 2014 at 11:40 am
Hey folks, remember when money didn't exist and we traded favours instead? This is a great idea and more restaurants and businesses should get the community involved.
Trudy / May 13, 2014 at 11:40 am
Did a volunteer do their website as well?
Homer Simpson is head chef...
Shaner / May 13, 2014 at 11:41 am
Can someone please volunteer to redo their website in exchange for tacos? 1991 called and they want their bad designed website and Simpsons clip art back.....
ROFO replying to a comment from north / May 13, 2014 at 11:48 am
I have 6 children, all between the ages of 7 and 15. I'm going to send them all to volunteer for the full 4 hours. That's 24 tacos bitches. 24!!!!
All for me.
#smartestparentoflife #livevicariously
Stickler / May 13, 2014 at 11:51 am
It actually *is* illegal to not pay people to work if the work would normally be completed by paid employees (ie renovators/painters/etc), and consenting to non-payment doesn't overwrite employment standards.
youmustbejoking / May 13, 2014 at 11:57 am
Can I change your website for 1 taco of each hour I put into it?
Cathy / May 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm
If I volunteer to help paint a friend's wall, that's not illegal even though painting is usually done through paid contractors.
2little2late / May 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm
Volunteering for one taco an hour? Maybe you shouldn't have quit your cushy nuclear job with a pension. Seriously.
north replying to a comment from Stickler / May 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm
Hence the volunteering.
So if I volunteer to pick up dog shit or garbage at a park, it's illegal because it's normally a job the City Parks and Rec would be paid to do? Then can I sue then if I slip on dog shit and ruin my pants?

Or if I volunteer to clean snow off a driveway / cut grass for a disabled neighbour? Landscapers and seasonal workers everywhere would be all the rage calling ministry of labour on me?

So how do community clean up programs work then? Or wait.. how are they legal?

IF #ROFO can get caught on camera multiple times participating in criminal activities, then I'm sure the cops aren't going to care about painting a wall that I offered to do. Unless it's graffiti
Josh / May 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm
Somebody help these people out with their website - a toddler could do better.
Michael / May 13, 2014 at 12:23 pm
Legal or not, they're being awfully cheap. Offering 1 taco/hour is just sad. In exchange for 3 hours of work you get 3 tacos, which is probably barely even a meal. Forget minimum wage. Grand electric charges $3.60/taco, so this 1/3 of minimum wage at that rate at best. Real painters charge something like $50/hour+.

I have to say, by offering such a lowball deal, they're just trying to take advantage of their neighbours. Think about what you do in your own life. The last time I had friends help me move, I treated them to a much nicer meal than 3 tacos!
Jules replying to a comment from ROFO / May 13, 2014 at 12:35 pm
And ultimately the business won't be able to pay rent the first month because they'll be giving tacos out for free and not making any real money.

If they want to be part of the community, why not hold a free taco day the first day of business for the community, if people knew that was the plan more would probably get in involved to HELP THE COMMUNITY with this launch not a private business.

:I worked 4 hours I get 4 free tacos!

:No you actually only worked 3.5 hours and took two smoke breaks so you're only getting 3 tacos.

:No I worked 4 hours

:No you only worked 3.5 hours and I threw in a free drink, I can't keep giving away free tacos.
Ray replying to a comment from ROFO / May 13, 2014 at 12:36 pm
Ohh I thought these were good tacos, but they're contemporary Taco's. I'll pass on that.
Luc / May 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm
ROFO hahahaahhahaahha
Wapner / May 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm
So when I throw my back lifting heavy furniture and can't return to work who compensates me? I'm not a professional mover, thought I could lift, wasn't aware of any back issues.

No wait, I fall off a ladder while painting in unsafe conditions who compensates me?

THE PEOPLE COURT with judge wapner!
ROFO / May 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Guys fuck tacos - try my burrito instead!
Tilde / May 13, 2014 at 01:00 pm
Hey everyone!

Thanks for all the comments and attention. We just wanted to get the community involved and have a fun afternoon together.

There's no unsafe work or heavy lifting, just painting a few walls! We certainly won't ask you to do anything you don't want to.

We originally thought to make it volunteering only. The 1 free taco + a photo of you on our wall is just a token and our way to say thanks.

Hope to see you there :)

- The Tilde Team
2little2late replying to a comment from Tilde / May 13, 2014 at 01:10 pm
Oh, so you initially were going to make it volunteer only? But you're going to do a solid and throw in a free taco? Welcome to the neighbourhood!
erewh0n / May 13, 2014 at 01:18 pm
This is an ill conceived plan. Volunteer efforts are usually motivated by some kind of clear feedback loop into the community but this plan literally imposes on the community with very little tangible benefit to anyone but Tilde and possibly those who experience 10 seconds of (yet-to-be-determined) taco delight. It's a lottery ticket that costs you an hour of time and fume inhaling physical labor.

If Tilde's culinary merits are as effective as their marketing plans, their demise seems guaranteed.
Rob Ford / May 13, 2014 at 01:19 pm
How about me?
Stickler replying to a comment from north / May 13, 2014 at 01:53 pm
Ministry of Labour's wording, not mine.

Parks + Rec isn't for profit though, and it's arguable that the people cleaning up dog shit are only doing it for the people who don't pick the dog shit up themselves. Lazy dog owners are creating work - good dog owners aren't replacing paid labour.

Likewise with the snow shoveling or lawn work; your neighbour is not a business making money off of your help.
Xcaliber / May 13, 2014 at 01:59 pm
I have 8 hours of community service still to complete and give back for my wrong doings, considering this is for the community can a serve my hours here and get free tacos too?
Cameron / May 13, 2014 at 03:41 pm
According to their website, their name, Tilde, is pronounced "Till-Day." This thing here --> ~ (which their name clearly references, as is evident from the way that the "T" in their name is formed)is called a tilde, yes, which is pronounced "tɪldə" (approximately, "Till-duh," which still isn't quite right, in fact, but it's better than "Till-Day").

I wonder if these illiterates are aware of the negative connotations of their chosen (and mispronounced) moniker.
Cameron / May 13, 2014 at 03:43 pm
Maybe they are purveyors of the Anti-Taco, the Non-Taco, better than any taco you've ever tasted, the Beyond-Taco of tacos.
Cameron / May 13, 2014 at 03:49 pm
My guess is that they'll go the way of Bistro 699. The crumminess of Danforth-East-of-Donlands (or should I say East-of-Jones) is creeping ever Westward. Or are things improving? The Marshmallow Factory's gone, after all. Now there was a business whose owner has to have had supremely deep pockets.
Steve Jacoby / May 13, 2014 at 03:53 pm
You people are just sore that the West isn't getting a new taco shop.

Quit whining.
eastender / May 13, 2014 at 04:30 pm
Their website really is an eyesore and the "Story" copy is really off-putting. She "quit her cushy government job with a pension" JUST to bring us tacos. Gee, how lucky are we?

If this was something other than a private business, the call for volunteers would make sense and the bonus taco would be a nice touch. But a restaurant doing this? This is a sign of a business plan gone very wrong.
Michelle / May 13, 2014 at 07:53 pm
Whoa. The website is really poorly done. My 4 year old nephew can do a better job than this. It's like you learned to code 20 years ago and thought you still have it in you. First off, no one uses breaks anymore. Stop being cheap and hire people to do the job instead. Paying people is the best way to get the community together.
kasual / May 13, 2014 at 08:32 pm
Wow, you must not value your time very much if you're willing to exchange an hour of it for a taco. I'm not sure how much their tacos are, but I'm guessing it works out to about 3-5 dollars per hour, hence almost ANYTHING other paying work would pay at least twice that much.

Also, a restaurant that's so behind schedule that they would resort to this is probably experiencing so management issues. If you take them up on their offer, be sure to redeem in a timely fashion, those vouchers may not be good for long.
MrsP / May 14, 2014 at 09:56 am
Why do these hack businesses think they're going to rely on everyone else funding and doing their dirty work?
If you don't have the $$, don't start the project.

I'm at a complete loss as to why they think this is acceptable.

Having people in your space, I would definitely wonder about the insurance liability. What if they strain their neck painting? What if they cut themselves on a nail? Do you have insurance to cover possible injuries and incidences?

Just goes to prove how amateur this new restaurant is.
Baffled / May 14, 2014 at 01:39 pm
I am baffled as to how anybody could equate this to volunteering for a non-profit community cause. Tilde isn't a charity food bank. This is a private, for-profit business!

If this restaurant can't afford to do its own renovations or pay its employees with actual money then its business plan is just, plain, bad. Its management needs to rethink this strategy.

Sorry Tilde, but if I am going to volunteer, it will be to help out a worthy organization. It will not be because a financially successful engineer suddenly had the dream of being a chef/entrepreneur and neglected to do their homework on the actual cost and logistics of owning and operating a restaurant.

Meanwhile, if I want a taco, I can go to any of the cities' existing taquerias or Tex-Mex restaurants and purchase one this very day. Seriously, who gives out IOUs for "one taco" to be redeemed at some undetermined time in the future?
Baffled replying to a comment from Steve Jacoby / May 14, 2014 at 01:42 pm
Steve Jacoby: There are a bunch of taco & burrito places in the West end. Some of them even deliver. All of them pay their employees with money. But nice Astroturfing.
Cameron / May 14, 2014 at 04:04 pm
How to use a tilde:

Let TTSWTBP = Tilde Tacos sticks with this business plan
Let TTS = Tilde Tacos succeeds

Then, TTSWTBP --> ~TTS

Dave / May 14, 2014 at 08:45 pm
I don't want no Tacos, Get me a Whooper combo then well talk
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