This Restaurant Serves Food With No Human Interaction
Eatsa, a new San Francisco restaurant specializing in quinoa, is doing something that turns the traditional understanding of food service on its head: the entire process, from ordering to delivery, is automated. The only humans on-site are those working behind the scenes—and even they may soon be replaced by machines.
The result is something as-of-yet unheard of, but long anticipated, in the fast food industry. From the moment you walk in the door until you leave the restaurant, no human interaction is required.
What this means depends on whether you’re a glass-half-full or half-empty kind of person. On one hand, it makes restaurant-going cheaper and more efficient than it’s ever been. On the other hand, it’s yet another example of machines taking people’s jobs.
San Francisco’s Eatsa is just the first outlet in a company with plans to expand nationally. When you walk in, you browse the menu on a flat screen monitor, which showcases the restaurant’s eight quinoa bowls (each costing $6.95). You then place your order and pay on an iPad before picking up your food in a cubby, where it magically appears with no signs of human involvement.
Founder David Friedberg says that opening a restaurant without human employees wasn’t his initial goal. Rather, it’s a byproduct of trying to optimize fast food for speed, efficiency, quality, and health.
“There’s rarely been a technology shift where people didn’t complain about technology replacing people’s jobs,” Friedman told The New York Times. “The reality is the economic growth from new technology has always resulted in new economic activity and job descriptions.”