Blame it on the skyrocketing demand for food even faster during the pandemic, but Atlanta gets its first 24-hour machine when five locations of Brooklyn dumpling store open. The five Atlanta locations are managed by franchisee Patrick Fisher, as part of Fransmart, the company behind Five Guys Burgers and the Halal Guys.
Founded by Stratis Morfogen in 2020, with its first location now open in New York’s East Village, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop offers 32 varieties of meatballs and spring rolls stuffed with fillings like pastrami, peanut butter and jelly, and gyroscopic lamb meat distributed in glass racks. People place an order on their phone or through a digital panel at the restaurant, then pick up the order in a specific locker, determined by scanning a vending machine screen with a smartphone. The whole process is supposed to be tech-driven, fast, and as contactless as possible.
It’s unclear whether restaurants will offer seating or just where these five dumpling vending machines will eventually reside in Atlanta. But given the 24-hour nature of the vending machine concept, it’s highly likely that at least one or more could be located in the city’s most popular nightlife and tourist areas.
Eater asked for more details on ETA locations and opening.
The very first automaton opened in Berlin in 1895, with the Horn and Hardart company importing the automaton to the United States at the turn of the 20th century – first in Philadelphia in 1902, then in New York in 1912. The chain of vending machines grew exponentially after the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, with vending machines peaking in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. This popularity began to wane in the 1970s, when the fast food restaurant has become the dominant quick service establishment of choice across the country.
Several restaurateurs have recently tried, and mostly failed, to bring back the vending machine over the past decade. However, the ongoing pandemic has seen a small wave of vending machines reappear in cities, including Jersey City at the Newport Center shopping mall earlier this year with the opening of the aptly named. Automatic kitchen.
Additional Brooklyn Dumpling Shop locations are planned in New York, Miami, Austin, Dallas and New Jersey over the next two years.