The automat is staging a comeback — with a modern twist. With a flagship opening in Manhattan’s East Village this December, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is a 24/7 QSR serving dumplings in 32 varieties with hands-free technology.
A Dumpling Lab in the front window will showcase dumplings being made by machine. The zero-human-interaction customer experience begins with ordering by phone or touchless kiosk. When an order is ready, a text notification will denote a locker, which will open automatically once the customer scans the barcode. Locker lights are color-coded: red for hot food at 100 degrees, blue for chilled food at 28 degrees, and auburn for room temperature.
“This is all about disruption — disrupting the QSR industry, disrupting traditional kitchen operations, disrupting traditional 30% payrolls, and bringing back the greatest product distribution machine ever created, the automat,” says Stratis Morfogen, cofounder of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop. “We believe we’ve created the Tesla of automats, all controlled from your smartphone. I’m excited to show the world our revolutionary new QSR from the 100% contactless drive-thru, to our guests’ relationship with our automat.”
Morfogen says the company intends to “grow big and grow fast.” To that end, it has partnered with Fransmart, a franchise development company responsible for the explosive growth of iconic brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries and QDOBA Mexican Grill. The chain is seeking experienced multi-unit foodservice operators to develop franchise territories in top markets across the globe.
“This is the right concept at the right time – high volume, small footprint, tech-forward, fully copacked menu built for speed, accuracy, and incredible taste. The contactless format is the solution to the biggest problem the restaurant industry is currently facing,” said Dan Rowe, CEO of Fransmart. “It is perfect for franchising, and we already have prospects who want to open locations in airports and the largest malls in the country. There will be 1,000 locations across North America and in the top 25 mass gathering areas around the world.”
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop will serve diner-inspired dumpling combinations. Mashups where the dumpling meets the deli sandwich will include options like pastrami, bacon cheeseburger, lamb gyro, French onion soup, Philly cheesesteak, impossible, Reuben and peanutbutter and jelly. Traditional soup dumplings such as matzo ball soup will also be featured in addition to wonton soup dumplings.