blankblank has worked closely with retailers and restaurateurs since its earliest days in 2004. Sadly, many of the innovative brick-and-mortar spaces that we designed hand-in-hand with local proprietors have shuttered as the business climate has become more and more challenging.
Recently, a Northern California-based chef/entrepreneur, Adam Pechal, shared a post about his recent experiences trying to adapt to this ever-changing landscape after an event hosted to support fellow local restaurant workers, and many people chimed in with their experiences as well. We asked his permission to share it with you here (FYI, this includes honest, graphic language).
"***emotional chef warning***
Don’t let my happy go lucky TV segments fool you. I try to paint a picture for the masses, and attempt to maintain a positive outlook. This is not how I feel. This fucking sucks!!! I cry more days than I don’t. From restaurant owner to dishwasher to farmer to delivery driver, we’re all suffering. Our industry and the many industries that support restaurants are crumbling. We already work our asses off, and right now, we are working harder than ever for minimal results. While many soulless corporate business are thriving, the local mom and pop shops are facing extinction. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. I’ve watched the best of the best in our town “pivot” (A word I now fucking hate!) and come up with some of the best, most creative solutions to keep their businesses running, their customers happy, and their guests and employees safe. Only to have the rug ripped out from under their feet, and forced to start over. How is this ok?!?!? I’ve dedicated my entire life to this amazing industry. An industry that feeds the community both figuratively and literally, and right now we’re being left to die. I wanted to keep Tiger open, as I don’t like to quit, but sometimes the fiducially responsible thing to do is shut the doors...and I get that. With that, my partner Anthony Cordova pitched the idea about giving our perishable inventory to the industry and I bought in. There is no other place I’d want to give my final effort. Tony and Robbie tossed it to the masses and we were live. Tonight we fed employees from Mikuni, red lobster, Mikestone, even a hole in the wall taco spot from a town I’ve never even heard of. We had chefs on their breaks from local hotels. This is Industry!!! If you spend your day ensuring that others have the things they want and need, you are my family, and I will feed you, anytime. Tonight was bitter but even more sweet from the people that showed up to make this thing happen. While there were many that contributed, I could not have done it today without
Steve Herreraand JD Sneed! You guys came through in a pinch, and are a big part of why that food was so good. And a special shout out to Tyler Dumont for rolling up his sleeves and putting food on the plates. I can’t thank you all enough. Tiger will be back when the time comes. In the meantime, I’m your culinary whore. Let me know what you want sugar. "