Besides psychotic managers and “Karen” customers, some of our worst memories while working at restaurants came from the sheer amount of waste produced. At Regents Pizzeria, a popular spot for UCSD students, we threw out 20 whole pizzas every night! On top of this, at other restaurants, we burned through mountains of paper managing reservations and waitlists. Looking online for solutions to this waste problem, we ran into several that reduced waste in some areas, but none that made an attempt to solve all restaurant waste. When we saw that Sustainability was one track of the hackathon, we knew exactly what to do.
What it does
We created MRGA, a solution with the goal of eradicating waste from restaurants. As of now, MRGA has two functionalities. First, MRGA digitizes waitlists for reservations. Second, MRGA has a system for restaurants to notify nearby food banks of leftover food.
How we built it
First, we made our wireframes in adobe xd. With the wireframe set up, we prepared a REST API to handle the required input and output to a server. At the same time, we used React Native to make the frontend of MRGA. Afterwards, we connected the frontend and backend.
Challenges we ran into
One challenge that we overcame was the remote format of the hackathon. You’ve probably already read plenty of project submissions talking about the challenges of collaborating remotely. Like all of these other teams, we experienced scheduling difficulties and unclear goals. In fact, we didn’t even start coding until 7:30 pm on Friday!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
For three of us, this was our first hackathon, so we were proud of completing it! In addition, we are also proud of having learned React native in so short of a time.
What we learned
Apart from React Native, we learned how to collaborate remotely. Over the course of the hackathon, we solved the issue of remote collaboration by frequent communication and setting goals to achieve by certain deadlines. For example, after our initial confusion, we met and decided to set goals for 8 pm on Friday, and we continued to communicate frequently afterwards. We were able to overcome the challenge of a remote format hackathon by communicating frequently and setting goals.
What's next for MRGA (Make Restaurants Green Again!)
With the product that you’re seeing today, we’ve only helped restaurants reduce waste in two areas. The next thing for MRGA would be to add ways to help restaurants reduce waste in other areas, so that MRGA can become the ultimate sustainability solution for restaurants.