Innovation Never Stands Still, Not Even For Restauranteurs

nomaWhen you think about the future, you think about flying cars, robots you can have relationships with, and Elon Musk. But did you know that the future is coming to restaurants too? Yes, even food is subject to innovation in this world, now dominated by new technology.

This is, of course, great news for startups. New innovations almost always mean new opportunities. And the equipment to start up your restaurant has never been more readily available. But there’s a problem. Making it in the food restaurant business is tough, and new restaurants that want to succeed have to do something different. So what can startups learn from the most innovative restaurants? Let’s find out.

The Perennial, San Francisco

The clue as to what The Perennial is all about is cryptically contained within its name. The Perennial describes its food as progressive and agrarian. Most food is agrarian, of course. But what about the progressive part? The restaurant’s progressive credentials come from the fact that it’s food is part of a sustainable cycle. The restaurant runs its own sustainable fish farm. The was from the fish is then fed to a mixture of worms and fly larvae. These then compost down the waste which is finally used as soil for the lettuces served in the restaurant. It’s a hip, eco-friendly concept, perfectly suited for the Californian market.

Kitchenette, Memphis

Did you know that Elon Musk has a brother? Kimbal Musk wants to be a big shot in the restaurant biz. He’s opened a new grab-and-go concept restaurant designed to get the punters in. The cool thing about this new restaurant is that everything on the menu is under $5, making it one of the cheapest gigs around. Musk’s strategy to make the food affordable is to source it locally. He wants people to get a feel for the type of food that’s being grown in their area. And he wants to get communities together to eat healthier and in a way that is better for the planet.

Mosaics Community Cafe, Bartow

Mosaics Community Cafe is changing the very concept of what it means to pay for a restaurant meal. As a business, it’s designed to help out people who would rather work for their food than pay for it out of their income. Right now, it’s particularly popular among the unemployed. Every item on the menu has a suggested price. But if patrons can’t pay for it with cash, they can sell their labor instead. Mosaic asks people to volunteer their time to work at Mosaics or down at the local community center. Could this be a model for the future?

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York

Right on the other end of the spectrum is Blue Hill at Stone Barns. It’s widely regarded as one of the best establishments in the whole of New York, as well as one of the most expensive. The chefs here pour their souls into the dishes they create. Every dish is immaculately presented, using locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is innovative because it gives tours to guests so that they can see where their food came from.

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