In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules, Box’d has developed what it calls the first fully automated restaurant in Canada that allows customers to order, pay for, and pick up food without ever having to come in contact with another human.
The restaurant, which will be opening later this month at 4 King St. W. downtown Toronto, is designed to help Torontonians limit close contact with others while still grabbing takeout meals. Customers place their order in advance either using the mobile app or via a digital kiosk in the store. Then, they refer to digital status boards to see when their food is ready. The board will include instructions leading them to the proper pick-up location where food will be available in digital cubbies and on shelves.
The cubbies are sanitized and all separated from one another, explains Chef Tomer Markovitz, and there is one chef per meal, with meals all fully sealed.
“We are excited to bring the Box’d experience to Toronto,” says Mohamad Fakih of Box’d by Paramount Fine Foods. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Torontonians chose to cook their meals at home, but as the restrictions ease and more businesses open people are looking forward to eating out. We understand that people may still be a little wary of public places, so we have created a dining option that is fast, efficient, and safe.”
Creators of Box’d consulted with Chef Markovitz to build a menu of recipes that feature lunch and dinner selections in Middle Eastern cuisine, including vegan and vegetarian options. Each meal comes in sustainable packaging and express menu options are accessible in a few taps.
“Being fully automated means Box’d can offer Canadians a new and exciting ‘smart’ way to experience eating out safely,” says Ahmed Daify, the Box’d franchisee for Paramount Fine Foods. “Box’d will be the first automated restaurant with a certified chef. We will be hiring at time when the service industry needs it the most. We are excited to bring this opportunity to Canada, since Canada is a country of hope.”
Because of the design of the restaurant, there are more chefs and concierge team members on staff versus front-of-house order-takers.
Menu items will feature Paramount Fine Foods hummus and traditional Middle Eastern flavours and spices in new recipes created by Chef Markovitz, including salads, hot dishes, oven-baked wraps, and smoothies. The full menu is available at boxdbyparamount.com.