San Francisco always seems to take to the latest trends before the rest of us plebes even have such high-minded concepts on our radar, so you probably won’t even bat an eye when you find out that the Bay Area is getting a new highly automated fast food–style restaurant that specializes in quinoa.
Eatsa, which will be opening in downtown San Francisco on August 31, promises “better, faster food” and that starts with quinoa. According to KQED, customers enter the restaurant, “which resembles an Apple Store in its design,” and place orders on a row of white tablets. Diners then wait a few minutes before picking up their quinoa bowl (and yes, every bowl does have quinoa) from behind what Forbes describes as “a series of translucent cubby holes.” Having problems with the process? Outside of the kitchen staff, who are hidden away in back, the only other employees are “concierges” who are simply there to answer questions.
According to the people behind Eatsa, that lack of paid employees allows them to offer higher quality food—meaning quinoa, of course—for less, putting them in the same price range as places like Chipotle, but with healthier, lower-calorie options. “Technology plays an important role in improving the speed, convenience and efficiency of our experience. By making things as efficient as possible, we can offer a great price now for a high quality product,” said Scott Drummond, a member of Eatsa’s leadership team, discussing the concept, which has been in development for over two years.
Eventually, Eatsa hopes to remove much of the kitchen staff as well and replace them with robots. Since food service is automated through the cubby system, the restaurant believes it’s possible customers wouldn’t even know the difference.
Now, if only Eatsa could find a way to get rid of the meals, they’d really have a unique restaurant concept on their hands.