We see trends in all areas of life; there are fashion trends, music trends and design trends. As the food industry has evolved over the years we have seen many different dining trends appear, home delivery apps and fast casual restaurants for example. Now, there’s yet another restaurant trend and it takes diners another step away from the face to face dining experience we are used to.
What Is Faceless Eating?
In recent years dining trends, all appear to be centred around offering a way to eat with as little human interaction as possible. For example, home delivery allows diners to eat without leaving their home and fast casual restaurants provide a quick ‘in and out’ alternative. However, things have gone one step further and faceless eating is making a mark in the food industry.
Faceless eating is a way to eat at a restaurant with absolutely no human interaction; that means no face to face ordering and no waiters. In fact, diners can visit a faceless eating establishment without talking to a single person. So, how does it work? Diners can sit alone, order their meals using a smartphone or tablet and have it delivered through, essentially, a hole in the wall. It’s a similar setup to a vending machine, except diners can sit and eat their meal and everything is cooked fresh as would be expected from any restaurant. See Eatsa over in the USA making waves – see this video by TechCrunch explaining the concept.
How Extreme Could Faceless Eating Go?
There’s no telling how extreme faceless eating could go. Now, faceless restaurants tend to offer a seating area for diners to use, though there’s no reason why some may evolve into providing private booths for each individual guest to really eliminate social interactions. Wait a second – In New York David Chang has just invested in another ‘faceless’ concept (his first went bust) that has the back of house set up of a restaurant (kitchen etc.) and skilled chefs but without the FOH costs (staff) and service – the diner gets their food delivered but at a restaurant level grade with more focus on the science of the packaging and logistics. This makes sense considering the uncertainty within the market place of rising costs (labour and costs of goods). For the business owner, it reduces costs and from the consumer it ticks a home delivery box, catering box and most importantly that ‘convenience’ box which is really driving home the shift in market place.
Is Faceless Eating The Future?
Arguably, faceless eating and its multiple styles could become a major player in the food industry and it’s likely to be a trend that other restaurants catch on to especially as there are benefits for the restaurant, like having less to worry about in terms of customer service and needing less staff. However, it’s unlikely that faceless eating will replace the typical dining experience we are used to simply because eating out is often a social activity. Purposely eating alone is not something that appeals to the masses. Though, there are times where faceless eating is likely to appeal to many.