Future Guest Experience 2020

September 28 - 29, 2020

Las Vegas, NV

Here's How Eatsa is Offering Its Innovative Restaurant Technology Platform to Other Hospitality Providers

brought to you by WBR Insights

With its innovative and almost human-free robotic restaurant platform, Eatsa thought it had struck gold. Things didn't quite go to plan, but the company is fighting back as a provider of restaurant technology.

Eatsa was founded in San Francisco in 2015 by Scott Drummond and Tim Young. The company's USP was selling their quinoa-based salads via an automated self-serve ordering process. The company had opened six locations in two states by the following year, but struggled to get a foothold with the dining public. By October 2017, Eatsa had closed all but its two San Francisco locations.

However, by reassessing what it has to offer the restaurant industry, Eatsa is making sure it isn't counted out of the game.

A New Direction

Acknowledging its mistakes in attempting to grow too quickly too soon, Eatsa took the decision to focus on a different kind of business model. One which makes its restaurant technology available to other hospitality businesses.

(Image source: eatsa.com)

"Since introducing Eatsa to the market two years ago, we've had overwhelmingly positive response to our technology and experience," said the company via a press release. "However, we now realize that we expanded our retail footprint too quickly. In particular, operating in four different markets has made it difficult to quickly test and iterate our food product. We're going to increase our focus on enabling other restaurants to use the Eatsa platform. We're already in discussions with a number of companies to do this. We believe that partnering with established brands will allow us to get the Eatsa experience people love into more restaurants, faster."

The first partner to take advantage of Eatsa's restaurant technology platform offering is fast-casual dining Asian restaurant chain, Wow Bao. The company had been looking for partners to help it drive its mission of small footprint casual dining experiences for its customers, and the automated technology offered by Eatsa is a great fit for the brand.

The Eatsa Restaurant Technology Platform

Wow Bao, and any other company which takes advantage of a partnership with Eatsa, will gain access to a truly impressive restaurant platform.

The technology on offer features an entirely automated storefront, including a suite of tablet ordering devices which customers can use to place their orders. Customers also have the option of ordering via a bespoke mobile app, also developed by Eatsa. Once their order has been placed, guests witness their name appear on one of twelve LED-lit dispenser cabinets. The display also features an animation alongside the name to try and encourage social media sharing, and provides updates on the preparation of the guest's meal.

"When I first heard about Eatsa's technology back in 2015 I knew they were onto something special," said Wow Bao President, Geoff Alexander. "Within months of their San Francisco opening, I visited their store to get a first-hand understanding. The platform created a seamless customer service experience that was both entertaining and efficient. I knew right away it would be the perfect piece to incorporate into our future locations. We couldn't be more excited to be the first restaurant partner for Eatsa and look forward to delivering the same high-quality food our customers expect in a way they have never seen before."

Final Thoughts

Eatsa's story provides a valuable lesson that fantastic technology is not always enough to guarantee instant success. In addition, companies who are too enthusiastic when it comes to expanding their businesses can often find they encounter challenges which hadn't been foreseen when dealing with a single location.

However, it also shows why there is nothing wrong with taking a step backwards and taking stock of the business model, and if you have a great piece of restaurant technology, as Eatsa does, you may well have a solid product which can be offered to the industry.

The final word goes to Eatsa.

"While we're disappointed to say goodbye to many of our loyal customers, we're confident that we'll see you again soon... either in an Eatsa location, or in another restaurant where our technology is making your dining experience faster and more affordable. We're still committed to changing how people eat, and we will continue to pursue this goal as the company evolves. We're still in the very early days of this journey."

You can hear Eatsa's Former Co-Founder and Chief Design and Development Officer, Scott Drummond, speak at Future Guest Experiences 2018 this September in Las Vegas, NV.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.