This local restaurant group is preparing the restaurant of the future

Published August 14, 2020, 10:42 AM

by Kerry Tinga

From UV lights to isolation pods, a breakdown of Foodee Concepts’ blueprint

Ask anybody and they will tell you that this year has felt like a lifetime. What day even is it? Most of us have not stepped into a restaurant in months that the idea has become completely foreign. But the next time you sit down for a meal, it might not just feel like a foreign concept, it might even be out of this world.

While we don’t have a hovercraft to park (yet), some local restaurateurs have been teasing designs for a “restaurant of the future” that look like they are straight out of a science-fiction space film.

The entrance perspective of the ‘restaurant of the future.’
The additional features of the ‘restaurant of the future.’

Foodee Global Concepts is behind brands Mesa and Sunnies Café, as well as the local franchises of Michelin-rated restaurants Tim Ho Wan, FOO’D by David Oldani, Tsuta, Kam’s Roast, and Hawker Chan. On Facebook, COO Eric Thomas Dee posted the blueprint of a “new normal” restaurant design the company commissioned from Michael and Deneice Chan of CY Design Group.

The eye-catching design features ultraviolet C (UVC) light posts, electronic menus, cashless payment systems, and contactless serving. All we are missing are some holograms, or maybe robots. Perhaps those will be coming soon.

“During the quarantine, we asked ourselves ‘What if?’ So that’s where this proposal came from,” says Eric. “We wanted to see what the design of the future would be like given all the new norms.”

You enter the restaurant and get all your temperature immediately checked. There is an automatic hand sanitizer dispenser and shoe sealers.

Walk to one of the individual pods, which have open slats for ventilation, as well as mist spraying. The pod is closed off with a door to limit exposure to any other customers walking around. Proper isolation.

There is an electronic menu. Pick what you want through a QR code ordering system. It’s unknown whether there will be an AI voice that will “talk” to you, which could be a cool option. The food is delivered to you via a conveyer belt. After the meal is done, cashless payment systems are available and ready. Then off you go to the next place to isolate and socially distance yourself from others.

If you are eating as an individual, you could potentially have a whole restaurant experience without interacting with another human being.

There are, of course, group pods where you can eat with friends, family, and other people you are comfortable with. Which is more the whole point of the “restaurant of the future” design. The usual Sunday family lunches, weekday coffee, and snacks with workmates, or Friday date nights at your favorite restaurants may soon be back on.

The floor plan of the ‘restaurant of the future.’
The features of the individual and group pods of the ‘restaurant of the future.’

“The intention was for us to break our heads and look into the future while maintaining the key principles of dining out, which is being communal,” adds the COO. “We also wanted to make sure the design was realistic more than anything. We wanted to make sure that it is executable.” Describing the design as functional and purposeful, he says people can use this as a guideline and build up from there.

“We are at survival mode now, but that won’t stop us from looking forward to a bright future,” explains Eric. “Safety is our current priority and it will be our priority moving forward. This crisis will be leaving that stigma and lingering fear. By prioritizing the safety of our guests, we want them to come to our restaurants free of anxiety and dine-in like the good old days. That is our job. To make everything #DEEliciouslySafe.”