Automats — where patrons could get food and beverages from a space filled with vending machines — were last popular nearly 100 years ago. It seems the format may be making a comeback.
A one-of-a-kind, 24-hour QSR automat will open in New York City next month. The Brooklyn Dumping Shop will open at St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. The fully automated restaurant concept is the brainchild of Brooklyn Chop House Director of Operations Stratis Morfogen. His plan is to revive the automat with modern technology to ensure zero human interaction. Using modern food locker technology, the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop will keep orders in temperature-controlled lockers to ensure freshness and food safety.
“The Automat was single-handedly the greatest fast-food distribution equipment ever designed,” says Morfogen, a partner and owner of several establishments in NYC including Philippe Chow, Club Rouge, Gotham City Diner, Seagrill of the Aegean, and Hilltop Diner. “The technology we’re bringing to Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is unlike anything seen before, which will allow us to create an ‘autoflow’ from a customer’s cell phone to our touchless ordering kiosks right to our lockers to bring quick-serve restaurants into the 21st century.”
With open kitchens being a popular staple for years in fast-casual restaurants, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop will feature a Dumpling Lab in the front window — with the restaurant’s dumpling making machine right up front for all to see. Guests will place orders using their phones or via the restaurant’s kiosks. When an order is ready, customers will receive text notifications on their phones with information on which locker to approach. Lockers will open automatically once a customer scans a barcode. Lockers storing hot food will be lit red and chilled lockers blue. Auburn lit lockers will indicate room temperature.
The shop will feature 32 unique dumpling varieties including pastrami, bacon cheeseburger, lamb gyro, french onion soup and peanut butter and jelly. Traditional soup dumplings such as Matzo Ball and Wonton Soup will also be available along with three different broths. Spring rolls in a variety of flavors including Peking Duck will also be available. With 24-hour service, breakfast is on the menu, with such offerings as a Bacon, Egg & Cheese CRO’ SUMPLING which offer the flakiness of a croissant inside the shape of a dumpling, per a release. Dessert dumplings include Fried Apple and Frozen Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sundae.
Delivery will be available from various third-party platforms. Beer, wine and soda will also be available along with frozen cocktails like a signature Red Velvet and Lychee Frose. The concept will also offer mail order gift boxes to customers across the United States.