SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- There's no one at this new San Francisco vegetarian restaurant to take your lunch order or tell you when its ready.
Instead, you'll depend on machines for a fully automated dining experience straight out of an episode of The Jetsons.
Welcome to Eatsa, a new futuristic fast food chain opening Monday in the Embarcadero (121 Spear Street) offering quick, healthy food for about $7 -- a deal compared to other lunch time options in San Francisco.
Customers tap their meal selections on an iPad or their smartphone and pay electronically. No cash is taken here. Then when the order is ready, hands slide the meal into a "cubby," which lights up with the customer's name. The plan is for it to be ready in less than minutes from the time the order is placed.
Along the way, customers may only encounter a single "concierge" to assist with ordering questions, but besides that you're on your own. The dozen or so cooks remain unseen behind the wall of cubbies.
Don't come here hoping for a meaty meal. Instead, you can expect to find a wide-array of lush salads and quinoa bowls stuffed with fresh vegetables.
Eatsa is the brainchild of Scott Drummond, a techie focused on data-driven results. He says forgoing meat, along with staff, helps keep the cost of goods down.
Drummond told Fast Company he foresees a day when robots can perform many of the tasks involved in assembling an order.
"We're using data science to drive the whole Eatsa experience," he said, adding that human cashiers are a weak link in the food-delivery chain. But at Easta, Drummond says "cashiers won't be a limitation."
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