The future is here and it's delicious! A new type of restaurant experience is coming to Canada. Paramount Fine Foods will be bringing a fully automated restaurant to the 6ix. A first in the country, Box'd Paramount is coming to Toronto this summer.
According to a news release, Box’d is set to open at 4 King St. W. in "early summer."
It's described as a new way for Torontonians to order their takeout while also ensuring they're keeping physical distancing in check.
This new type of eatery was already in the works before the COVID-19 hit, but it sounds like a pretty good way to pivot dine-in eating in the time of a pandemic.
As with Paramount's existing restaurants, Box'd will offer a list of menu items for Middle Eastern cuisine lunch and dinner selections, as well as vegan and vegetarian options.
"This new digital restaurant concept ensures all meals are made fresh and quickly, and by trading front of house order-takers for more chefs and a concierge team, Box’d is able to make it easier for guests to get the healthy food they want, fast," reads the release.
So, how will it work in practice?
Guests will place their takeout order in advance through a mobile kiosk in-store or on an app.
Then they will be alerted by digital status boards in the restaurant, letting them know when their food is ready to be picked up and where to get it.
This is where they will see "digital cubbies" and shelves that will tell them which meal is theirs.
So, it sounds pretty similar to the pickup-only approach tested by Starbucks back in February, only on a full restaurant's scale.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Torontonians chose to cook their meals at home, but as the restrictions ease and more businesses open people are looking forward to eating out," adds the statement.
"We understand that people may still be a little wary of public places, so we have created a dining option that is fast, efficient, and safe.”
Paramount's Mohamad Fakih had first mentioned the concept back in July 2019 to MenuMag, aiming to push the idea out "very soon."
Now, though, it has become an example of how restaurants could pivot their service in a world affected by COVID-19, when social distancing is key to public safety.
“With one chef per meal, all meals are sealed and delivered to sanitized, individual cubbies which simplifies the process and keeps cleanliness and safety top of mind," added Chef Tomer Markovitz, who helped build the menu options for Box'd.
As the city adapts to new ways of life, the future of food ordering may look a little different than we're used.
No exact date has been confirmed for Box'd's opening in Toronto, but keep an eye out!