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An Automat is a fast food restaurant where foods and drink are served by vending machines. (wikipedia.org)
7 points by pius on Sept 27, 2008 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

I have always wondered why these died out. I have never seen one myself, but they seem the most efficient and streamlined way to run a restaurant. It would possible to provide high-quality food for fast food prices via the this system.

I would make the dining area wrap around the kitchen, and have big windows allowing the diners to see the kitchen, and be assured the food was prepared cleanly.

There was an article in the NY Times sometime this year about the last one in the US closing down in NYC. You could contact the owner.

... and?

A recollection: my wife and I were touring Alhambra (La Alhambra is what the spanish called it, but 'Al' is apparently the article in Arabic, so La Alhambra is a bit redundant) in Spain, and after walking around the whole thing were a bit tired. We walked out past some vending machines to the benches, and glanced at what was on offer: not only candy bars and fizzy drinks, but sandwiches, which we laughed at... who would eat a sandwich that had been sitting around under the Spanish sun all day; either it was chock full of potent chemicals, or it was already growing a disgusting range of nasties. Relaxing on the bench a few minutes later, we noticed a guy walk past, waving a few of the sandwiches, and exclaiming to his wife in a proud tone that he'd found something to eat. I guess the British deserve their reputation for not being picky eaters?

Maybe these are considered steampunk now?

Am I that old?

Maybe I should be submitting more slide-rule articles. Or, better yet, TMRC's System 2:


Now that is some awesome old technology. I can't believe the link to the audio file is broken! Thank god I visited TMRC to hear this thing in person before they took it to the museum.

I was inspired by this:


Plus, I think it's a cool, old idea that could inspire some new business ideas. Obviously some people found it interesting . . . they upmodded it.

If you can reduce McDonald's --or any fast food place's -- costs by X% and/or increase its throughput by Y% by an automated robotic means, you may have a golden business or start up opportunity.

It seems like it should be feasible...

+1 -- why is this here?

They have these everywhere in Europe. And yes, they're as gross as they sound. Apparently Europeans love tasteless sandwiches made up of mostly bread, with a single slice of meat or cheese between the slices. They serve them everywhere, in restaurants, on trains, and in the automats.

The idea of an automated fast food place sometimes wants to come back.


Reminds me of the "ticket" restaurants in Japan.

Why yes, yes it is.

Has anybody seen Dark City? There's a great example of one in there. Its where the guy loses his wallet.

That's EXACTLY what I thought of when I saw this post. Great movie.

The peak of humanities's "do everything from the car" mentality.

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