Chef Anthony (of Mission Street Food, Mission Chinese Food, Mission Burger, Commonwealth and Mission Bowling Club) has a grand new plan to open a fully charitable restaurant in the SF Food Bank’s warehouse. To make it happen, they’re trying to get a big grant from Mission: Small Business, which requires we all cast an online vote. Here’s the plan, straight from Anthony:
I’ve been sketching plans to serve food inside the Food Bank itself, in their warehouse, as a kind of a hybrid between restaurant and fundraiser. The warehouse is pretty exhilarating to behold with immense skylights and massive aisles of produce and 2,000-pound bags of rice being mobilized for distribution across the city. There’s a space in the middle that clears out around 6pm each day and could probably fit a kitchen on wheels and about 20 seats, and though it’s just a swath of concrete in a warehouse, I think it could be home to an extraordinary restaurant.
Apart from the dramatic setting and the idealistic nature of the establishment, I think it would also be able to transcend conventional restaurant economics and offer unparalleled value by way of non-profit partnership. Diners could make a donation beforehand to secure a reservation, then reap the benefits of subsidized food and labor, and the absence of tax and gratuity. Meanwhile, the Food Bank would use its savings on food, labor and overhead—all of which could generate over $1000 per night to feed those in need. It’s a win-win.