Eatsa's Innovative Fast Food Future

The Lempert Report
September 10, 2015

What does Quinoa have to do with innovative technology?

This new and innovative fast-food restaurant that just opened in downtown San Francisco, is a health focused, casual dining space that offers only quinoa-based, all-vegetarian bowls. Diners can select anything from, say,  a Mediterranean salad, a curry bowl, a burrito bowl, or a smokehouse salad. The Quinoa-centric fast food joint wanted to make this superfood the star of the menu because it's a cholesterol and gluten free complete protein that can be used as a staple, not just a topping and like rice, can absorb flavors and sauces. 

Led by Co-founders, Scott Drummond and Tim Young, the Eatsa team spent roughly two years testing consumer taste preferences, trying out a variety of quinoa (red and white) to perfect the taste and texture of the sauces and the grain. The result of all this work is the co-founders' vision of making healthy food efficient and inexpensive. Of their eight signature combos featuring quinoa they all have a $6.95 base price. 

But the most innovative aspect of this eatery is actually something other than the food - it's their use of technology. Co-Founder Scott Drummond told Fast Company, "We’re using data science to drive the whole Eatsa experience." Research told them that a pitfall for most of the service industry was human cashiers… so Eatsa doesn't have any! 

That's right! Welcome to the future! At Eatsa, customers order at one of several touchscreen kiosks and pay electronically, there's no cash. When their food is ready it's placed into a cubby which lights up with the customers name and order number. There is actually a small crew of human chefs preparing orders behind the scenes, but asides from a human "concierge" who is there to help if needed, the goal is to get your lunch without having to talk to another human being, which for the co-founders of Eatsa means you'll never have to wait in line again! 

In the upcoming months, Eatsa plans to add mobile ordering so that customers can place an order on their smartphone, set a pickup time, and find their cubby lighting up precisely as they arrive, thanks to mobile location tracking.

Does this mark the beginning of the end for human cashiers?!