Are we talking robots?
Not quite. The site has 10 kitchens and is powered by a "futuristic fully-automated ordering experience” created in collaboration with eatsa, a San Francisco-based technology automation company.
How does it work?
It’s essentially a hybrid of the delivery company's Deliveroo Editions ‘dark kitchen’ model and the Market Halls-type concepts that are currently popping up all over the UK (and indeed all over the world). All the food is available for delivery but there’s also a 40-cover dine-in space.
In what sense is it automated?
Customers can order via self-serve kiosks on site and pick up their food from digital ‘cubbies’ (think Amazon lockers). Customers will receive a notification on a digital status board to pick up their food from their designated cubby, and can either eat it on site or take it away.
So no human interaction is required?
It certainly looks that way. It's an interesting evolution of the street food market/indoor street food market model. Combining eat-in with delivery at existing venues can be challenging due to restricted access for couriers.
What restaurants are involved?
The line-up includes Bonchon Chicken, Omakase Burger and Blu Kouzina.
Haven’t heard of any of those…
That’s because the market is in Singapore’s Alice @ Mediapolis. The space has a stripped back and corporate feel - it must be said that it doesn't look nearly as fun as the likes of Market Halls, Pop Brixton and Boxpark, or indeed a Singaporean hawker market.
Is it likely to make it to the UK?
There's no talk of the concept leaving Singapore at the moment. But if it's deemed a success it seems likely Deliveroo will look to bring it to other markets.