facebook pixal
OPINIONOperations

Why the automat has inspired so many modern copycats

Restaurant Rewind: The lemon meringue pie helped, but it really was an early flash of price-cutting technology.

Yet another modern riff on the Automat has called it quits, extending the lengthy list of ventures that have fallen far short of the original’s 89-year run. What about that pioneer of restaurant technology has prompted so many entrepreneurs to give an updated version a try?

Restaurant Business Editor At Large Peter Romeo looks back at the attractions and drawbacks of the seminal concept in this week’s edition of his retro-focused Restaurant Rewind podcast.

Using the lens of his own experiences with the Horn & Hardart Automat, he provides a consumer’s perspective on why the brand originally found traction with New York City tourists and office workers, only to be driven into a grave by rising prices and the onslaught of fast-food in the 1960s and ’70s.

Download the installment and every episode of Restaurant Rewind from wherever you get your podcasts.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Trending

More from our partners