Vegan taqueria El Palote Panaderia has taken contact-free delivery to a whole new level. During the pandemic, the Dallas-based eatery is serving its signature plant-based tacos and burritos using a robot.
“Honestly, the robot came from a desperate need to calm my anxiety about the current situation and give our customers something to laugh at when they come to pick up food,” Aaron Arias, whose parents own El Palote, told Eater Dallas.
Arias says he calls the “robot”—a remote-controlled toy Jeep—Palote Bot. “People seem to love the concept. [I]t gets a good laugh from anyone that sees the little dude,” he said.
Food is placed in a plastic tub, attached to the toy Jeep, and taken to customers who are waiting in the parking lot.
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Restaurant closures and stay-at-home mandates during the coronavirus pandemic have made eating out virtually impossible. Bars, eateries, and other establishments have been forced to close their dining rooms. Due to the virus, businesses are only able to serve food via delivery and takeout options.
This hasn’t stopped some from thinking of ingenious ways to give customers a “dine-in” experience. Bord för En—or Table for One—is a new, sit-down restaurant in Sweden that serves only one guest at a time in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Customers of the single-seat “restaurant” are served food via a basket that’s delivered on a rope. Bord för En’s menu features locally-sourced ingredients, including homegrown vegetables like yellow carrots, potatoes, and corn.
Mediamatic, an art center located in Amsterdam, has also found a creative solution for COVID-proof dining. The center offers a sit-down dining experience in its tiny greenhouses.
The dining concept—called Serres Séparées, which is French for “separate greenhouses”—will include a four-course menu featuring plant-based and locally-sourced ingredients.
Mediamatic wrote on Instagram: “With the current situation, it’s difficult to open a restaurant with limited space. So why don’t we add to our location and create a safe and intimate home for partners to reconnect, with the outside world at their own leisure?”