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Torontonians will soon be able to pick up their lunch or dinner from a cubby

Sometimes you gotta think inside the box.

Canada’s first fully automated restaurant is set to open in Toronto this month. Fully automated means diners order a meal from an app and pick it up from a cubby when it’s ready. Those who’ve been to Amsterdam will be familiar with the concept.

The vending machine-style restaurant is called Box’d, and is a project of Paramount Fine Foods.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Torontonians chose to cook their meals at home, but as the restrictions ease and more businesses open people are looking forward to eating out,” says Paramount Fine Foods co-founder Mohamad Fakih. “We understand that people may still be a little wary of public places, so we have created a dining option that is fast, efficient, and safe.”

Box’d will open its doors in prime real estate, at 4 King St. W. in downtown Toronto. Renowned local chef Tomer Markovitz worked on the menu, which offers vegetarian/vegan options and offers plenty of room for customization. Couscous, rice, lentils, salad, hummus, chicken, kafta, steak and portobello mushrooms are just some of what’s on offer.

“The state-of-the-art technology used throughout Box’d will revolutionize and transform how consumers experience dining on-the-go and will help our guests feel safe,” said Markovitz. “With one chef per meal, all meals are sealed and delivered to sanitized, individual cubbies which simplifies the process and keeps cleanliness and safety top of mind.”

Fakih explains the process: “When your order is ready, you receive a scan code to your phone, which corresponds to the scan code on your assigned cubby. For those people who order at the restaurant kiosk, their name will appear on a digital screen when their food is ready. It will also tell them which cubby their food is in, and how many times they need to tap the door so it opens up.”

Life post-corona is starting to take shape – a box.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.