The Touchscreen Generation Gets Its Automat

A new automated restaurant in San Francisco, Eatsa, is being hailed as the future of fast food, yet it sounds a lot like the Automats of old.
The Touch-Screen Generation Gets Its Automat
Here’s one to file under “everything old is new again.”

A “fully automated restaurant,” called Eatsa, has just opened in San Francisco and is being hailed as “the future” of fast food. With its human-free ordering system and food delivery via glass-fronted compartment, it sure sounds a lot like the automats popular in days of yore. You know, where you put a few coins in the slot, reach in, and grab your sandwich or piece of pie?

So retro, so cool, but sadly the last Horn & Hardart Automat (at 200 42nd Street, at Third Avenue, in New York City) closed in 1991. And Eatsa, if it does owe a debt to its predecessor, dwells definitively in the high-tech here and now.

Diners at the brand-new flagship location near SF’s Embarcadero order their meals on in-store iPads, with nary a human in site, reports. (Well, OK, there’s one lone worker roaming around just to make sure ordering is glitch-free.)

Behind the scenes, five or six people work to feverishly prepare your meal; moments later, it appears in a glass-fronted compartment for you to remove and enjoy.

The menu — devoid of meat but  heavy on quinoa — also sounds fresh and new. And at $6.95 a pop, the meals, which come in “bowls,” are affordable as well. Customers can order from a menu of eight bowls, or customize their own.

Eatsa seems to be a hit so far with lunching office workers, and the team behind it expects to open a location in Los Angeles and another San Francisco location in the coming months. They’re working on an order-speeding app too.

Eat your heart out, Doris Day.

Photo courtesy of iStock

Next Up

Get Fresh…with Watermelon!

The long days of summer have us craving one thing…WATERMELON! What is summer without this delicious juicy fruit? Here at The Kitchen we've come up with a chocolatey new way to enjoy summer's must-have melon.

Get Fresh…with LEMONS

Spring is the perfect time to try fresh new ideas for foods you eat every day. Below are some of our favorite ways to get fresh…with LEMONS!

Get Healthier Together

Trying to get healthier this year? Well, you and millions of others have the same idea. Studies show that positive support from a friend, relative or support group can help shed those pounds and keep you on the straight and skinny.

Get Your Grill Ready

It's officially grilling season! We've got the latest tips and tricks to get your grill ready for summer.

Get That Garden Growin'

Don't have a green thumb? Don't worry! Getting your garden growin' is easier than you think! Here are some of our favorite tips.

WATCH: Jernard Gets Uncivilized

Relive Jernard's wow-worthy performances.

Get Eggy with It

It’s almost spring and that means brunch, of course.

Get Custom Cheese Slices

Hot Tips for cooking with cheese from Food Network Kitchens' Katherine Alford: Instead of buying presliced cheese in packages, hit the deli counter to find more interesting cheeses.

The Tool Vietnamese Coffee Drinkers Have Been Brewing with for Generations

The sustainable, low-tech phin is ideal for just about anyone, no matter how you like your coffee.