Eatsa, the automat-style, quinoa-based restaurant, has closed its Berkeley location, along with its New York and Washington, DC stores. The Berkeley location, which opened just over a year ago, has been closed since at least Saturday, Berkeleyside reports. Meanwhile, the company’s two SF locations — One California and Rincon Center — will remain open.
Via a statement on its website, the company said the decision came as it increased focus on spreading its platform to other restaurants, while also admitting that its initial rapid expansion made it difficult to fine-tune the menu. Since opening two years ago, the company has previously changed its menu, prices, and user experience based on customer feedback, including the addition of breakfast, and noodle bowls.
The company debuted with the quickest of quick-service formats, in which customers order from an iPad (or ahead of time on an app), and pick up their meals from a glass cubby. Humans are scarce at Eatsa locations, with only an attendant to help guide less savvy customers through the ordering process.
According to the company, the scaling back of its retail locations is temporary, saying “We hope that with fewer locations, we can experiment and innovate faster, and resume our retail expansion in the future.” The remaining SF locations will serve as a testing ground for new dishes and operations.
So for now, fans of quinoa bowls and limited human interactions can still grab breakfast or lunch at Eatsa’s SF locations. Stay tuned for more on Eatsa plans to spread the gospel of automats to other restaurants.