Today, San Francisco became home to a start up that is aimed at changing the fast food game. What makes this new downtown lunch spot different? Humans need not apply.

Eatsa, “a fully automated fast food experience,” opened its flagship location in downtown San Francisco today, at 121 Spear Street, near the Embarcadero.

Resembling the futuristic interior of an Apple store, customers order their food from an iPad, enter their name and just few minutes later – poof! – their food appears in a LED lit cubby with their name on it.

This cashier-less lunch spot isn’t completely void of humans though; there are a few “concierges” greeting customers and assisting those who are less tech savvy. Also, behind the scene there is a group of prep-cooks piecing together the meals.

But by eliminating the need to pay cashiers, Eatsa is able to also eliminate a significant amount of overhead, which they say allows them to offer up better quality ingredients for a lower price.

So what’s the catch? Meat-lovers will need to give up cheeseburgers and carne asada tacos; everything at Eatsa is based on a big bowl of quinoa (a protein-filled grain crop that resembles couscous). Think: a healthier (and a little cheaper) version of a Chipotle burrito bowl.

‘Accidentally’ Healthy


“We want to help people get healthy almost by accident,” said Dave Friedberg, one of the founders of the restaurant.

The Eatsa team is hoping to attract health-conscious San Franciscans with hearty salads and quinoa bowls stuffed with veggies. As an added bonus, quinoa, which is high in protein, is also an environmentally friendly replacement for meat.

In fact, quinoa can grow in diverse conditions and requires very little water to grow, said Friedberg, which makes it a valuable crop to feed a growing population. “Quinoa is truly a superfood,” he believes.

Eventually, Eatsa hopes its combination of tech and quinoa can change the way we eat, with the ambitious goal of eventually packing Eatsas into shipping containers and dropping them in neighborhoods that don’t otherwise have healthy lunch options.

Have you tried an automated lunch? Let us know in the comments below!