With Eatsa, technology and branding executives Scott Drummond and Tim Young hope to revolutionize the quick-service experience with a new spin on the old automat concept.
Eatsa opened in the fall in San Francisco offering eight different vegetarian bowls using quinoa.
But the most notable feature at Eatsa is what you don’t see. The brightly lit, modern design is void of front-of-the-house workers — no hosts, no cashiers, not even a manager to walk around and ask customers about the food. Everything is automated in high-tech fashion.
Customers use iPads to look at the menu, order and pay with a swipe of a credit or debit card. No cash here. Food is made fresh behind the scenes and delivered to a glass case. The case will light up with a customer’s name when the food is ready. Kitchen staff is hidden from view as they prepare the food.
Drummond, a former brand marketing consultant, and Young, a software engineer, spent 18 months working out the system with backing from former insurance company entrepreneur David Friedberg.
Their goal was to offer healthy, fresh food quickly and efficiently. Bowls are priced under $7, and the restaurant saves on labor costs with a smaller staff. The technology can speed service. The concept has been able to serve 300 to 400 customers per hour.
“We sort of valued the idea that we could upset the apple cart in fast food,” Drummond told Nation’s Restaurant News. “We want to create more access to healthy food.”