(WTNH) — The Automat is coming back. It’s a fast-food restaurant served by vending machines – everything from dumplings to alcoholic drinks. Several locations of a new chain are set to open up in Connecticut.
Automats used to be a thing of the past–the first one launched in the 1800s, but faster food options started popping up and food prices increased. Using coins in the machines became inconvenient. More people had cash in their pockets but the machines didn’t accept them. So automats started closing their doors.
In 2019, Executive Managing director of Brooklyn Chop House Stratis Morfogen says he began researching why fast food restaurants always close. The reason he found was payroll.
Now with the Automat, he won’t need a big staff because everything will be automatic — including ordering to pick up. His franchise set to launch in late April is called Brooklyn Dumplings.
When he first came up with the business model before COVID, he says he was doing it for economic and efficiency reasons. Now he feels it’s an even better idea as it’s contactless service at its best and perfect for college towns and cities like New Haven.
“What I love about Connecticut is that besides Mohegan Sun which is very much in play and then you have great little villages like UConn, New Haven with Yale. Since a couple of periodicals came out, they came breaking down our doors wanting this concept and we’ve experienced that kind of response nationwide right now,” Morfogen says.
The franchise that purchased several locations in Connecticut wants to remain anonymous. But he did say this person has been in the fast-food industry for several years and knows this is going to be a big hit.