Futuristic “faster food” chain Eatsa is expanding its presence in DC. The San Francisco-based automated restaurant, which opened its first area location on K Street this fall, will debut a two-story shop near the White House at 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest in the next few weeks.
The mostly-automated format is nearly identical to the five existing locations here and in New York and California. Customers order vegetarian quinoa bowls via mobile app or at computerized kiosks in the store. Meals are retrieved from a wall of glass “cubbies” that resemble high-tech microwaves. The process is designed to maximize speed—the company advertises a 90-second to three-minute delivery window—and minimize service costs. Breakfast and lunch bowls start at $6.95 and can also be customized with different proteins like eggs and tofu, vegetables, and sauces.
For all of its computerized mechanisms, Eatsa isn’t completely devoid of human help. Typically three employees are positioned at each restaurant to greet and help with technical difficulties. As for living, breathing cooks, the company isn’t willing to comment on whether any operate on-site or from a satellite kitchen.