Humans are incredible. We put a man on the moon. We discovered the structure of DNA and penicillin. We created art like The Starry Night and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. We built cities and empires like Rome and Cairo. And even in the most desperate of times in war and peace, we are resilient. We show love and empathy towards each other. We are truly an extraordinary species and we've proven ourselves to be kings and queens of our home, our earth, our pale blue dot.
And yet why is it that so many people find their work un-fulfilling? Why is it that so many people have to work minimum wage jobs they hate just to put bread on the table? As a society, we've come to accept that some people must simply do work they don't find fulfilling to pay the bills. But does it have to be that way? Is there a law of physics or of the human condition that says fulfilling work is zero sum and that some people cannot love their work?
Today self-actualization is a privilege at best. A privilege for western elites. At Chef, we believe and are working to create a future where we all have an opportunity to self-actualize our highest potential, to be innovative and creative, to lead others, to create art, and to love others. In other words, we want to empower humans to be, well, human!
Our hammer to implement this goal is technology. Throughout modern human history, technology has been a force of change, a constant and unending idée fixe. The Gutenberg printing press freed humans from the toil of manually copying books by hand and empowered them to read and learn. The Jethro Tull freed humans away from the manually planting seeds and allowed them to focus on other endeavors. The spinning jenny freed humans to produce clothing at scale. The steam engine freed humans away from manually creating mechanical power to using electricity to build the modern world.
In other words, technology has a tendancy to take redundant and unfulfilling jobs like copying manuscripts or planting seeds or spinning cotton and create more fulfilling and human jobs. Today is no different. At Chef, we're on a mission to empower humans to do what humans do best, and allow machines to do what machines do best. Initially we're starting with helping restaurants assemble food for their back of house so that they can create more restaurants with better, human-facing, front of house jobs. Simultaneously, we'll take people who want to make the career transition from food service to other industries and train them and help them find other, newer jobs--including jobs that don't exist today--and hopefully more fulfilling ones.
But this is only our short term mission. This is the way we want to build a business that allows us to accomplish even more ambitious goals. Ponder this: the largest parts of food cost are generally real estate and labor. If one can reduce labor costs significantly (say using autonomy) and reduce real estate by having a fully self-sustaining system in a low footprint, then in theory one can drive food costs to almost nil (raw food at scale is very cheap). Through this method, we want to build fully autonomous mini soup kitchens that can serve food at a price point of $1 while making money (and thus in a sustinable way), bringing sustainable and healthy food to the masses and putting a dent in malnutrition in America and hunger across the world. Imagine a future where every street corner has a Chef system where anyone can put in a $1 and get a fresh meal out. A future where nobody has to eat McDonald's because it's the only thing she can afford. This is our Mars mission. But to get there, we need to build a sustainable business to fund the technology development.
None of this is easy. But it's important. And no matter how hard they are, important things must be done. Join us on our mission to help us unlock human potential and create a contemporary Renaissance of thought and creativity while putting a dent in the global hunger crisis. We need all the support we can get.