Given its close proximity to Silicon Valley, it’s no surprise that San Francisco is one of the more tech-forward cities in the world.
Case in point: in recent years, a number of restaurants run to varying degrees by robots have opened in San Fran. But according to a new Business Insider story, if you’re hoping to enjoy a meal at one of the futuristic eateries, you better hurry — because many are already going out of business.
Closing Up Shop
In July 2019, Eatsa — a restaurant serving quinoa bowls via futuristic pickup windows — closed its locations in San Francisco because owners couldn’t pay the rent. Meanwhile, robotic coffee bar Cafe X closed all of its San Francisco locations except the one in the airport just this week, BI reports.
And in November 2018, Softbank-backed startup Zume pivoted from running a San Francisco-based restaurant for its pizza-making robot to focusing only on deliveries. On Wednesday, it announced it wouldn’t even be doing that anymore.
The failure of these San Fransisco-based robot restaurants could be attributable to the simple fact that they’re restaurants, a notoriously difficult business.
Or, perhaps BI is onto something when it posits that diners might just prefer that their food come with a side of human interaction.
More on robot restaurants: People With Paralysis Control the Robot Waiters at This Cafe