eatsa NYC

It looks like eatsa bit off more than it can chew.

The company known for its (mostly) human-less front-of-house restaurants and tasty quinoa bowls is rejiggering its strategy to deemphasize its own retail restaurant footprint in favor of an “eatsa-inside” strategy of enabling other restaurants with their technology.

In a blog post published today, the company said it had expanded too quickly, making it difficult to test and iterate their product.  Under their new strategy, eatsa would focus on powering other restaurants with its technology and, as a result, shut down the five eatsa locations in the three markets outside of its home market of San Francisco.

From the eatsa blog:

First, we’re going to increase our focus on enabling other restaurants to use the eatsa platform. We’re already in discussions with a number of companies to do this. We believe that partnering with established brands will allow us to get the eatsa experience people love into more restaurants, faster. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

We’ve also decided to close the five eatsa restaurants in New York, D.C., and Berkeley. Our two San Francisco locations will remain open so we can continue to test, iterate, and build out our retail brand. We hope that with fewer locations, we can experiment and innovate faster, and resume our retail expansion in the future.

I ate at one of the NYC locations back in June and thought the food and experience was good.  At the time I proclaimed that the eatsa model of fast, cheap and tasty enabled by technology was a glimpse into the future of fast casual dining. I still think that’s the case, only now we’ll likely see this vision realized through restaurants other than eatsa, even if many of these locations still utilize the company’s technology.

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