Eatsa has gotten lots of press over the past few years for two things:
One, they serve lots and lots of quinoa. This is not surprising since a) quinoa is tasty and healthy and b) the company’s ownership group also runs NorQuin, Canada’s largest producer of quinoa (talk about vertical integration).
Second and perhaps more interestingly, they’re a robot restaurant. Only, they’re not a robotic restaurant in the way you’d expect it – back of house – but instead have created a fully human-less front of house experience where the consumer orders using a touch screen and the food magically appears in a small cubby.
As if that wasn’t enough to make this startup interesting, now they’re adding a third leg to their stool of differentiation with personalized food. That’s right, with a revamped menu and updated software, the company just announced they will start to tailor meals for users based on past behavior.
Here’s how eatsa’s chairman, Dave Friedberg, explains what they are calling the first attempt to create the “world’s first truly personalized food service experience”:
Imagine having your own personal chef. Every day you tell your chef what you’re in the mood for. What you like and don’t like. Over time, your chef learns about your favorites, things you can’t stand, your preferences for sauces and spices, and even how your mood changes based on the weather or what you’re up to on a given day.
Imagine that your personal chef is downstairs from your office or down the street from your home. And your personal chef can make you an amazing meal in 90 seconds or less and do it at a price lower than any other option out there.
That’s the experience we want eatsa to deliver. Today, we are taking the first step towards that vision.
Since launching the first eatsa in September 2015, we have been asking guests what they like and don’t like, where else they eat and why. We’ve listened and we’ve learned.
Turns out, most folks love what we offer (Thank you!). But if eatsa is going to be able to give everyone something that they’ll love every day, truly deliver a personalized experience, guests have let us know that we need to expand beyond quinoa bowls.
So, based on past user behavior and responses to questions eatsa has asked their guests, eatsa will now start to offer personalized plate options. While fast-food restaurants have been touting make-it-your-way for a very long time, those methods were really just the “put in your order” way of ordering food that’s been around since, well, the beginning of restaurants. Instead, eatsa will use data from guest behavior to anticipate and pre-emptively offer up specialized meals that are tailored for the consumer.
In a way, eatsa is tapping into a broader trend towards greater personalization of food and nutrition powered by the explosion in better and bigger data over the past few years. Companies like Habit are creating personalized mealkits based on the personal biological and health profiles of consumers, while others like Innit are pushing heavily towards personalized food with their data platforms.
I guess robots aren’t so impersonal after all.
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