Who are you?
I am Inez Cook, Co-Founder & Owner of Salmon n’ Bannock. We are Vancouver’s only Indigenous-owned and operated restaurant. We use the traditional ingredients that our Grandmothers and Grandfathers used before us. We use these authentic flavours to create wonderful and delicious modern dishes. Our staff is composed of 8 people who proudly representing the following Nations: Carrier-Sekani, Long Plain, Muskoday, Nuxalk, Ojibwa, Secwepemc, Squamish, and Ts’msyen.
Why is it important for you to be an eco-friendly restaurant?
As we’re indigenous, we’re thoughtful about our surroundings and we make conscious decisions about the planet. Everyone has to do their part. It can seem overwhelming, but together, people can make conscious decisions.
What are the top 3 actions you have implemented to be an eco-friendly restaurant?
We buy food using the following hierarchy: first Indigenous, then local, then Canada, and then Turtle Island (North America). We also use take-out packaging that is compostable as much as possible. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We serve only wild salmon, as it is aligned with our culture and traditions.
What are the top 3 actions you have taken to minimize food waste?
We track food waste every day, which enables us to take actions based on data. We’re also almost reservation only, which enables us to anticipate the needs of our guests in advance. Last, but not least, we have a super creative team, maximizing the use of our ingredients. For example, for Dine out, we had a lot of apples. Why not make an apple sauce, freeze it and use it for later? Once I also overshopped, I bought 50 lbs of carrots, way too much for what we need, so we made a beautiful carrot cake.
What KPIs are you using to control food costs?
We are a small-scale restaurant, and the KPI we’re using to control our food costs is the quantity of food waste generated by weight, tracked manually.
How has the pandemic impacted the way you control food costs?
During the pandemic, it was very hard to guess the number of guests, so controlling our food costs were definitely more challenging. For example, guests from Burnaby did not want to come to Vancouver. We are presently operating with only 6 distanced tables in alignment with Covid restrictions. Normally we are permitted 30 guests. Most tables are tables of 2 during the pandemic and that is an average of 12 guests per seating, or 24 guests a night. Pre Covid, we had 50-60 guests per day. During the pandemic, we also had to do most of the grocery ourselves, as we could not reach the minimum order for some of our suppliers.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We have just celebrated our 11th anniversary! Come taste our delicious flavours, and let us take you to our new waters.