Would You Eat Your Burger on a Grass-Covered Table?

A burger franchise in Australia stakes out new turf in the sustainability movement.

What do you have on your burger? Actually, at a fast-growing burger joint in Melbourne, Australia, the question to ask is … what do have your burger on?

How about a grass-covered table?

Yeah, weird.

Last week, a Redditor who goes by the handle SkyUnderMyFeet posted a photo of the outdoor seating area of a restaurant, later revealed to be a Melbourne location of an Australian burger franchise called Grill’d.

The restaurant’s wood tabletops were covered with what appeared to be large squares of real turf – dirt visible beneath rangy green grass, rustic enameled white pitchers of napkins and little cardboard signs perched on their uneven surfaces.

“We want … tables,” SkyUnderMyFeet captioned the photo, posted on the WeWantPlates subReddit, which, according to its description, “crusades against serving food on bits of wood and roof tiles, chips in mugs and drinks in jam jars.”

SkyUnderMyFeet followed up with a several additional comments, including, “By the way, this isn’t even fake turf. It’s real grass, dirt and all,” “ I’m just wondering how you even balance a beer on that stuff,” and “Does someone water the tables? Like halfway through the meal, they bring out a sprinkler?”

These fine questions are yet to be definitively answered, although some of the post’s many commenters have speculated: “Maybe it's like the produce section at the grocery store, with sprinklers on a timer. And you just have to eat quickly to avoid getting misted. Hopefully they play the thunder sounds beforehand as a warning the way some stores do,” one wrote.

Several Redditors made farm-to-table jokes. Others groused about dirt and mud and “bugs and worms.” Still others took issue not with the concept, but with the execution.

“This could be a neat idea if it were executed properly,” griped one. “This is just sod tossed on a cheap … table.”

“How often do you have to mow your tables?” wondered a wag on Instagram.

Another Instagrammer who posted a photo of the tables captioned it with a long rant about sustainability one-upmanship, wrapping it up, “what … does turf on tables somehow prove? How is that hygienic? …. I am triggered so hard by this …. Ok i’m done.”

Detractors aside, the concept appears to be consistent with the chain’s commitment to sustainability, extensively laid out on its website.

“Respecting Mother Earth is in our DNA,” the Grill’d site declares. “We're always pushing to do better by the environment. One delicious burger at a time.”

One grass-covered table at a time, too.

Photo courtesy of @grilldburgers

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