The Return of the Automat? This New San Francisco Restaurant Has No Human Servers

Eatsa is a futuristic restaurant concept that is fully automated, with a virtual cashier and zero servers

Here’s one answer to the question: Can our workforce be replaced by robots?

At first, Eatsa looks like a normal (if spacious and spotless) lunch spot. But when you look closer, you’ll notice that the only people inside are customers, and that your food is distributed in neat little cubby holes.

Welcome to the future of dining — or is it actually a throwback? Eatsa, with the slogan “better, faster, food,” has just opened in San Francisco, and it indeed resembles the old automat luncheons of mid-twentieth-century America. Like the old automats, you retrieve your food from a small compartment, without interacting with any cashiers, servers, or greeters.

But Eatsa, the quinoa-centric vegetarian eatery, combines the mid-twentieth-century experience with twenty-first-century robotic technology, according to the San Francisco Chronicle reporters who previewed the eatery. You order and pay for your food (approximately $6.95 per bowl) on an iPad, and then the kitchen staff, hidden from view, prepare your food. Once your meal is ready, it appears in a small glass compartment. You’ll know which healthy lunch is yours because your name will flash digitally above the compartment.


According to reviewers, the food is actually pretty good. Expect an app soon, as well as future expansion into other cities.