Promising "happiness...and a side" in about 60 seconds, Los Angeles-based Box Brands aims to shake up the fast-food industry with its interactive, automated fresh burrito concept, Burritobox.
The kiosk uses a 32-inch touch-screen menu that lets customers choose from among 6 flavors of fresh, handmade burritos at $3 each. Sides of sour cream, hot sauce and guacamole can be added to orders for an extra charge.
This August, the company will roll out a Gen 2.0 version of the kiosk, featuring a larger, 42-inch screen, a new cooking process, new packaging and the addition of warm chips and salsa to the menu. Slightly larger in size, it also has nearly double the capacity, able to dispense up to 1,000 total products.
Once the customer orders and pays, the unit heats their food and entertains them with movie trailers or music videos on the screen. The Gen 2.0 kiosk's screen will feature a continuous video loop when the machine is not in use showing Box Brands' chef slicing, dicing and grilling up fresh ingredients and demonstrating how the products are assembled.
The company's "nerve center" monitors inventory remotely and provides automated support to franchisees and customers alike. "Our technicians can monitor all of the machines live, 24/7, anywhere in the world. They can see inside the machines and control functions remotely," says Denis Koci, CEO of Box Brands. "In the Gen 2.0 machines, they'll also provide customer service similar to in a restaurant via live video chat. If you have a problem or a question, it can be handled live, face-to-face with a real person on the screen."
The company operates six units in the Los Angeles area in segments that range from gas stations, to malls, to college campuses, which Koci says represent the biggest growth targets. It has also gotten interest from big-box retailers and transportation centers. Thanks to a new round of funding, he anticipates developing 100 corporate-owned kiosks on the West Coast and says franchises have been sold for installations throughout the country and beyond, at an initial franchise investment of "less than six figures."