In the Bay Area restaurant scene, sustainability concerns go hand in hand with the need for efficiency, the foundation of success in an industry that operates on razor thin margins. Chef Tanya Holland is working on her strategies for both via a campaign from a technology company called BlueCart.
The company is a mobile platform that is designed to streamline the process of restaurant (and grocery, catering, cafes, etc) ordering from wholesale purveyors, saving money, time, and waste. (If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ve seen your sous chef languishing on the phone, clipboard in hand, placing orders for the next day.)
Holland’s participation in the Zero Waste Kitchen project is partially a result of BlueCart’s PR effort, but also an opportunity for her to pave the way for other restaurants, and to focus on her own practices at Brown Sugar Kitchen. “I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient,” Holland told Eater SF. “That's kind of my nature, always fine tuning efficiency in the kitchen and with my operations.
Over the next two months, Holland will implement a variety of different sustainability practices and give video feedback on what’s working for her restaurant. It’s something she hopes will bring awareness to other small businesses like hers. “This business is becoming really challenging, so any margins we can knock down and knock off other costs is a great one, definitely,” said Holland. Holland is already involved with the Chef Action Network, a non-profit aimed at providing chefs with resources for affecting food policy (including sustainability). “This business is becoming really challenging, so any margins we can knock down and knock off other costs is a great one, definitely,” said Holland.
Weekly video dispatches from Holland and two other chefs (Jehangir Mehta in NYC and Tim Ma in DC) will touch on topics like composting strategies, time management, and inventory. For those interested in learning more about the process, visit Zero Waste Kitchen.