NEW YORK: New Yorkers can now get their dumpling fix from an automat with no human contact, and the adventurous can order flavors ranging from pepperoni pizza to peanut butter and jelly.
While the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop in the city's East Village offers traditional pork and chicken bite-sized treats, chicken parm or Philly cheesesteak are also on the menu.
Spurred by the pandemic and technology advances, the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is delivering food via automat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Embrace technology, because technology is something that has to be embraced by hospitality (business) to thrive," said the shop's owner, Stratis Morfogen, who is also director of operations at the Brooklyn Chop House.
"When COVID-19 hit, the hospitality industry that did not embrace technology, started to scramble to get their websites, and their social media, and everything going, streamlining platforms. They should have already been in place. This is the future. This is the way, the most efficient and cost-effective way to distribute a product."
In Rome, customers can watch through a glass window as a vending machine kneads dough and cooks a pizza in just three minutes.
In New York, two chefs make fresh dumplings around the clock behind a glass wall in the shop. Cooks then boil and fry the dough to order.
Customers can scan a QR code to order directly from their phone or tap through a touchscreen menu inside the store. They then receive a barcode that allows them to open the automat door when their dumplings are ready.
When the shop opened on Wednesday, Stephanie Benjamin was eager to try it out.
"I think it will be quicker," said Benjamin, who lives two blocks away from the dumpling shop. "I think it'll make it quicker, and I think anyone who is nervous will be very excited about this."
(Reporting by Aleksandra Michalska; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Karishma Singh)