After giving restaurants a limited try, Tesla is planning to push deeper into the business with the opening of a retro quick-service restaurant at one of its Los Angeles charging stations.
The facility will include an “old-school drive-in” and a movie screen, founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a series of Twitter posts over the weekend. He also mentioned a rock theme and roller skating, but it wasn’t clear if servers or customers would be on wheels.
At the request of someone who responded to the tweets, Musk said he would look into having a menu automatically appear on a Tesla vehicle’s dashboard screen as soon as the car is parked. He assured another responder that popcorn would be provided to complete the drive-in-movie feel.
Tesla has been drawn into the restaurant business by the need to build an infrastructure of charging stations for its electric vehicles. The new age service stations feature parking slots where a car has to sit for a considerable stretch to replenish its batteries, with the exact time determined by the model.
At the FSTEC conference in September, Tesla Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel said the car company had realized people waiting for a charge to be completed would welcome an opportunity to have a cup of coffee or something to eat. He said at the time that Tesla would investigate partnerships with restaurants.
But the car company subsequently opened two charging stations in California that featured a lounge where Tesla drivers could buy coffee, other beverages and sandwiches. The facility is self-serve and accessible only by a code that appears on a Tesla’s information screen as it approaches the station. The two are open 24 hours a day, and feature such additional amenities as a play area for children and a place for dogs to be walked. They are branded as 24H Lounges.
Musk’s tweets did not indicate when Tesla might try its more ambitious offering.
Elon Musk is the older brother of Kimbal Musk, the founder and chief of The Kitchen American Bistro restaurant chain and a director of Chipotle Mexican Grill.