The Digital QSR Future Is Now … But Ya Gotta Like Quinoa


A new San Francisco eatery called Eatsa has gone as far as I have ever seen integrating digital into its customer experience – actually removing visible staffing from the mix.

Ordering is all done by tablets, payment is all by plastic, a big video wall promotes the overall product and lets customers know order status, and transparent LCDs double as doors to cubbies where you food arrives. Staff in the back puts the orders together and places them in the designated cubbies.


It is the first time I have seen transparent LCDs have genuine functions, beyond pure eye candy merchandising.

It is genuinely futuristic, but there is a hitch – you have to like quinoa. It’s the base of everything served, kinda like rice is pretty much in everything you’ll get at a Chipotle.

The place just opened today at 121 Spear Street in San Francisco, but another location in LA is in the works.

I like the integrated experience, though the sterility of the design it might turn some people off. Some might also go off about how this cuts out jobs, but interactive order stations are coming no matter what, and it’s not robots in the back loading those bowls.

Yet. <insert sinister music here>

On my must-see list next time I get to San Francisco.

Here are reports in TechCrunch (I badly want to cut that guy’s forelock) and in the San Francisco Chronicle. Pictures from SF Gate.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dave Haynes


13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. 😏😜🍺
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Dave Haynes

1 thought on “The Digital QSR Future Is Now … But Ya Gotta Like Quinoa”

  1. Shades of the old Automat in NYC – back then it was coin over plastic while the staff kept the shelves stocked (quinoa excepted). Transparent – all visible through small glass doors.

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