You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

At This New Fast-Food Restaurant, Human Interaction Is Almost Zero Eatsa opens today in San Francisco, serving up quinoa bowls without a visible employee presence.

By Kate Taylor

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Eatsa | Facebook
Eatsa Restaurant

How high-tech can fast food get? San Francisco is about to find out.

Automated fast-food restaurant Eatsa opens in San Francisco on Monday. The biggest different between the restaurant and its fast-food competition is not simply the food, but the fact that, from ordering to pickup, the customer experience at Eatsa is managed entirely by machines.

Customers order their customized quinoa bowl and pay using an in-store iPad or on their own smartphones, cutting out the role of the cashier. Then, when the meal is ready, it appears in a transparent, futuristic cubby that lights up with the customer's name. The only visible employee present is a single "concierge" available to assist customers struggling with the high-tech devices.

Related: Taco Shop Gives 4-Year-Old Cancer Patient the Keys to the Kitchen

Unsurprisingly, the restaurant is the brainchild of data-focused techies. Research convinced co-founders Scott Drummond and Tim Young that cashiers are a weak link at existing fast-food chains, so they cut them out of the process, reports Fast Company. Menu creation was also data-driven, with founders settling on quinoa-based bowls after analyzing consumer taste preferences and matching them with less expensive grains and vegetables options instead of meat. The base price for all bowls is $6.95, beating out fast-casual champs like Chipotle's average San Francisco prices.

While Eatsa seems like a unique food concept, the opportunity to automate fast-food service is one of extreme interest to the entire industry. Restaurants from Panera to McDonald's are testing out ordering and payment kiosks, and behind-the-scenes automation and tech are essential tools for smoothly running a business. With the anticipated rise of minimum wages, expect more chains to tap into tech – and cut employees.

Related: Iced Coffee Challenge: How Do Fast-Food Restaurants Measure Up to Coffee Chains?

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Google Is Reportedly Considering a Subscription Fee for AI-Enhanced Internet Searches

We had access to the core Google AI search experience, which is currently being tried in beta for select users. Here's what we found.

Business News

Apple, Amazon Cutting Hundreds of Jobs as Tech Layoffs Continue

Both companies are slashing workers across divisions.

Business News

Amazon Is Trading Its 'Just Walk Out' AI Technology For 'Smart' Carts — And AI Reportedly Needed Humans to Do the Job Right

Just Walk Out's AI relied on more than a thousand human workers in India reviewing videos of what U.S. Amazon Fresh shoppers selected.

Side Hustle

I've Had a Secret Side Hustle for Decades. It Keeps Tens of Thousands of Dollars in My Pocket — and Gets Me Into Places I Wouldn't Go Otherwise.

When Cliff Smith lost his job, he picked up an under-the-radar gig that would make it possible to keep dining out — something he and his wife love to do.