High-tech take on automat opens in San Francisco

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ByJonathan Bloom KGO logo
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
High-tech take on automats opens in SF
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A new healthy, high-tech restaurant opens in San Francisco and offers a new take on an old model.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new restaurant opened in San Francisco Monday that's anything but ordinary.

Eastsa is far from a swanky new dinner spot, but it's a fresh take on fast food.

"I would like to think that everything about this restaurant is different," said Tim Young, Eatsa CEO.

For starters, customers swipe their credit card before ordering.

"When you start with your credit card it knows all of your history, so what you've ordered with us," said Tim Young, Eastsa CEO.

The restaurant has a computerized ordering system. There are no cashiers and no wait staff. One bonus, computers never get tired or grumpy.

"You don't have to worry about like uh people giving you a look for trying to customize your order, and I really like that," said one customer.

There are people working at Eatsa, but customers will never see them.

The restaurant is an extra high-tech version of the old automat. When you take away all the novelty, what you're left with is a fundamentally different way to run a fast food restaurant. The iPads and robotic cubbies are far more than eye candy, they're part of the business plan.

"The entree was only $6.95, which is really amazing," said one customer.

Eatsa serves all vegetarian quinoa bowls, a grain that's high in protein and typically expensive.

"It allows us to be more efficient and what that allows us to do is have a lower price point," Young said.

That does mean fewer jobs.

"The concept of technological disruption of jobs is real," said Rob Nail, Singularity University CEO. But Nail said new jobs will emerge. "Turning those humans on to more human activities," Nail said.