As Canadians continue to socially distance, and wearing masks becomes the norm, Paramount Fine Foods has opened Toronto’s first fully-automated restaurant called Box’d. Box’d officially opened on June 19th, 2020 and it’s not your “typical restaurant”.
Instead of waiting in line and ordering food from an employee, customers place their food orders in advance via the mobile app or they can order at the digital kiosk in-store.
Digital status boards within the restaurant update guests when their food is ready and leads them to their pickup location. Digital cubbies and shelves identify orders and create a streamlined experience.
“Being fully automated means Box’d can offer Canadians a new and exciting ‘smart’ way to experience eating out safely,” says Ahmed Daify, the Box’d franchisee for Paramount Fine Foods.
Mohamad Fakih, founder of Paramount Fine Foods further explains: “The customer experience is one of a kind. It’s a revolutionary way to order, pay, and pickup your food. Guests can order online in advance, select the time they want to pick up their food, and it will be waiting for them in their cubby when they arrive.”
“Box’d will be the first automated restaurant with a certified chef. We will be hiring at time when the service industry needs it the most. We are excited to bring this opportunity to Canada, since Canada is a country of hope.” The current Box’d establishment counts nine employees and the team is looking to expand to four more locations in the next year.
Creators of Box’d consulted with Chef Tomer Markovitz to build a menu of recipes that feature delicious lunch and dinner selections, including vegan and vegetarian options.
The menu takes inspiration from Paramount Fine Foods, while highlighting fresh and healthy eating. The menu will feature its famous hummus and more traditional Middle Eastern flavours and spices in new and exciting recipes created by Chef Tomer. Box’d utilizes sustainable packaging for all items, “We want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to reduce our ecological footprint,” says Fakih, on the importance of leverage sustainable packaging.
At a time when safety is top of mind, Box’d puts consumer health first. Not only is this reflected in the limited human interaction, but in their cleaning and sanitization practices. Fakih elaborates, “At Box’d the safety of our guests and team members is our top priority. After a kiosk or cubby is used by a guest our concierge will immediately sanitize them to ensure they are ready for the next guest. We also have hand sanitizer available to all our guests.”
As an establishment that really fills a niche in the current climate, Fakih delves into why he believes Box’d is meeting consumer demands in more than just this one way. “Box’d is a new restaurant concept that was created to serve a growing demographic of Torontonians who are looking for delicious, healthy meals fast,” he explains. “Box’d also addresses customer needs. In the financial district, beating the lunchtime rush has always been a challenge. Box’d fixes the problem by putting all the staff in the kitchen (or, as we like to call it, the heart of our house). As a result, we are able to serve more guests faster.”
In these uncertain times, operations are looking for any way to not just survive but thrive in the ‘new normal’. Ensuring that establishments have a grasp on what consumer demand is, is essential. By leveraging technology, Paramount Fine Foods and Box’d are leading the way in the shifting culinary landscape.