You won't find much human interaction at locally-based steamed bun chain Wow Bao's new Gold Coast location, where guests place their orders and pay for their meals via touch-screen kiosks or by using an app. When your noodles, dumplings and buns are ready, they're delivered through one of 12 cubbies, which use a clear LED panel to display the guest's name and the status of their order. The future is here, and it comes with a side of spicy Kung Pao chicken buns.
Human touch hasn't been abandoned entirely at the latest Wow Bao eatery, which opens at 1 West Division Street on December 1. There are still cooks in the kitchen preparing your food and a couple of “concierge” staff members will be on hand to help any customers who are having trouble with the automated system.
The technology was developed by Eatsa, a San Francisco restaurant that serves quinoa bowls. According to the Chicago Tribune, Wow Bao is planning to implement the technology at all of the locations it opens next year.
If you're feeling particularly anti-social during your next lunch break, some of Wow Bao's robot-delivered cuisine might be your best bet.