What if the morning bagel and cream cheese, or the quick slice of pepperoni you grabbed on your way home from work, could help save the planet?
This is the vision of Bagel & Slice, a Los Angeles bagel and pizza spot that aims to be the "restaurant of the future."
What exactly does that mean? For chef and owner Brad Kent, it comes down to taking care of the food, his staff, and the local community in the most sustainable way possible.
Kent leverages his background in food science and as the executive chef at Blaze Pizza to make that happen. He's using state-of-the-art energy efficient pizza ovens, an ozone cleaning system that's safer on his workers, and has strict criteria in place that ensures who he sources ingredients from is as committed to making the planet a better place as he is.
When it comes to the employees, Kent also hires locally and starts pay at $18 an hour. He's able to accomplish this while most of the menu sits at around $4-$10 per item (with the exception of some luxury items, like a smoked salmon lox bagel).
Why does all of this matter? When it comes to the future of food and climate change, restaurants play a role in generating emissions, and they are one of the main ways we get food. Their carbon footprint could take as many as 60 trees planted each year to offset, based on a case study conducted on one such pizzeria.
Bagel & Slice's ultimate goal is to get to carbon neutral, or even carbon negative, as a restaurant, while still serving accessible and affordable food and paying their employees well. With all of those three efforts in motion, it's possible that this pizzeria and bagel shop could serve as a future blueprint for how restaurants can make their operations more planet-friendly — and be a key example in efforts to curb climate change.