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Oh My Goodness: Former Social Studies Teacher-Turned-Restaurateur Lets Customers Pick Charity For Donation After Every Meal

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – CBSN New York's new series called "Oh My Goodness!" is highlighting people doing good deeds in their communities - either big or small.

A local restaurant is offering patrons the chance to feel good about feasting. They dine and donate at the same time.

At Restoration Kitchen and Cocktails in Lindenhurst, every dish is generously served up.

(Credit: CBSN New York)

"Our whole concept is believe there is good in the world. You want to be that good you see in the world, it's written on everyone's shirts, on the floors, in the bathrooms, the walls," owner Billy Miller said.

Miller has a new take on the concept of "good" food.

The former social studies teacher is mixing up his love of food service with community service. He says all of the net profits go to charity.

"After all the salaries are paid and the bills are paid we get to take what is left over and give it back."

Menus explain the mission of two local charities – a different pair every four months – and diners get to choose which to support.

"Everyone gets a little token with a check and every token represents a percentage and they put that in a bucket."

Too good to be true?

That's what the founder of the Cancer Research Foundation thought until he was handed a check.

"I said this is almost $15,000 what are you doing? I was really surprised," Philip Renna of the Christina Renna Foundation said.

That charity is raising money to fund scientists seeking a cure for the rare cancer that killed his 16-year-old daughter.

"It brings out the best in people. He is nurturing and seeding that in the community, its great!" Renna added.

In its first year of operation the Millers have given away close to $100,000. The fact that a restaurant doesn't keep its profits sometimes stuns patrons.

"Why? How? Are you crazy, what's wrong with you? That could have been a new car… and you say what it's going to is much better use the way it is. These people are the ones changing to society with a little help from us," Miller said.

Miller sent $26,000 to a foundation that helps firefighters with seriously ill children, like cancer survivor Cassidy McCarthy.

"It's unimaginable, it's amazing someone would even think of this. People don't go into business to give it away. They go into business for profit, so basically it's a not-for-profit restaurant," Cassidy's father, Daniel McCarthy said.

"I think it's really good to help people to do that," Cassidy added.

What's the restoration?

Wood at the restaurant is from Superstorm Sandy and the 110-year-old building was restored, revealing a century-old history of do-gooders.

"I thought it was just a weird address being 100 F but it's actually IOFF which stands for International Order of Odd Fellowship," Miller explained.

"Odd Fellow was an old fraternal organization; their goal was to show faith in humanity, to do random acts of kindness."

What Miller wants to restore now?

"We wanted to restore faith in humanity and that is our end goal."

Prospective charities are chosen through an application and interview process.

Our series Oh My Goodness highlights people doing good deeds in their community, either big or small. Do you know someone doing good or making a difference in your community? We want to know all about them! Email or send us a message on Facebook. You can also use #OMGCBS on Twitter or Instagram.

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