In the middle of Times Square, surrounded by Broadway theaters and Michelin-starred restaurants, sits an unassertive vegan restaurant that glows with pink neon lights above a marble bar. P.S. Kitchen is known for its splashy cocktails and upscale vegan fare, but more quietly, it is working to change lives.

Every business owner wants to achieve maximum return on investment (ROI), but maybe not in quite the same way as Graham Smith and April Tam Smith pursue it. They’ve borrowed tips and tricks from socially conscious business ventures and combined them artfully into one restaurant where every aspect of the business has a higher purpose—from the environmentally conscious fare to the intention with which they hire each cook or server.

The founders say that the restaurant’s revenue goes straight to organizations like ethical apparel brand Share Hope, anti–human trafficking nonprofit Restore NYC, and Justice Rising, which works to bring peace through education in war-torn countries. As a plant-based restaurant, the cuisine aims to be environmentally friendly and healthy. And, as a socially conscious restaurant, management hires people who struggle to stay gainfully employed. These three missions are what they call, as noted on the bottom corner of the menu, the “three PS’s.”

“It's like the end of an email,” April Tam Smith said. “I want to make sure people want to come because they find the food delicious and they love being here. It’s simply, by the way, we also do all of these other things. Like, oh, PS, we also give away all the profits. … And what’s really cool about the three PS’s is that [every employee is] really passionate about one ...

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