Fast Food Features Technology What's New

These Former SpaceX Employees Created An Automated Pizza Joint On Wheels

It recently hit me that I say “in the future…” a lot less than I used to. It seems as if everyday there is a new startup offering a product or service we’d only seen in movies previously. I actually recall a time before cell phones, now I can’t imagine a minute without one. I may have even started my slow descent into a fully virtual existence: I haven’t stepped foot inside of a grocery store in months. What can I say, I’m a sucker for convenience.

As a foodie, the technology I’ve been waiting for most is the instant-food pills from the microwave scene in Fifth Element. Toss a capsule in and a second later out pops a filet mignon. It absolutely puts fast food to shame. While we’re probably a few decades from instant-food pills, one start up that is looking to deliver new standards is Stellar Pizza

Launching early next year, Stellar Pizza is an automated pizza restaurant on wheels. The concept founded by a trio of ex-SpaceX engineers: Benson Tsai, Brian Langone, and James Wahawisan. What’s more, the core engineering team at Stellar Pizza consists of 23 fellow previous SpaceX employees, all of which now lend their combined 100 years of rocket science experience to revolutionizing the pizza industry.

Operating a brick and mortar can be costly. As a solution, Tsai singled out real estate and labor as the culprits. By removing those two factors they’re allowed to offer an automated service that delivers quality and consistency right to your door. Pandemic friendly automation also means that Stellar Pizza’s pie only touches robot hands before landing in yours. 

The real highlight is their gourmet pizza making process. With Executive Chef Ted Cizma at the helm, quality and taste is as important as quality tech. It could be a game changer — ‘za is fired in just 5 minutes while enroute to its destination.

Steller Pizza will be available to order via their mobile app, launching early next year, along with a crew of automated, modular trucks. Their hope is to one day offer food options beyond pizza and to revolutionize the food delivery industry. You can follow them here for updates.

Recipes Technology TikTok

TikTok Kitchen Will Be Bringing The App’s Most Viral Recipes To Fans

Baked Feta Pasta, Corn Ribs, Smashburgers, Pasta Chips — what do these foods all have in common? They all popped off and became viral recipes on TikTok this past year. Now imagine having these mouthwatering creations delivered straight to your door.

That possibility will soon be a reality, thanks to a new partnership with TikTok and Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC), which will launch TikTok Kitchens, as first reported by Bloomberg. The new food delivery concept aims to get fans the trendiest recipes on TikTok sent straight to their door. There’s big plans for TikTok Kitchen as TikTok and VDC will reportedly open around 300 locations across the US to start, with plans of expanding to around 1,000 spots by the end of 2022.

TikTok Kitchen looks to be a traditional ghost kitchen concept on the surface, but further details reveal that it will make use of existing restaurants’ existing kitchens and employees, who will then be provided the proper training, food packaging, and TikTok-sourced recipes.

The initial menu for TikTok Kitchen looks to serve up such viral creations like Baked Feta Pasta, Corn Ribs, Smashburgers, and Pasta Chips, though the menu will be updated quarterly to keep things fresh and current with viral food trends.

An noteworthy detail of TikTok Kitchen is that the creators behind the viral recipes on the menu will receive a part of the proceeds. Look for TikTok Kitchen to being rolling out around March 2022.

Restaurants Technology

Chipotle Reveals its First Digital Kitchen and Drive-Thru

Chipotle Digital Kitchen

Chipotle Mexican Grill just announced plans for a Chipotlane Digital Kitchen, its first digital prototype restaurant with a drive-thru, pickup window, and outdoor patio dining area.

The Chipotlane Digital Kitchen is scheduled to open later this month in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and sets a focus on digital orders via the Chipotle app,, and third-party delivery services.

The new Chipotlane Digital Kitchen is smaller than a traditional drive-thru unit and takes the dining room and front production line out of the restaurant’s equation.

Culture Fast Food Packaged Food Technology

Meet the Japanese Vending Machine that Sells Wagyu Beef

Photo: SoraNews24

If you’ve ever had the sudden urge to indulge in some pricy Japanese Wagyu steak, then there’s a vending machine out in Japan that can take care of you on the spot.

As reported by SoraNews24, there is a vending machine out in the Japanese countryside in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture that dispenses high quality Wagyu beef steaks around the clock. So if that hankering ever does come for some perfectly marbled Wagyu beef and you happen to find yourself in the area, then the vending machine from Yutakaushi has you covered.

The vending machine is stocked with fresh meat daily and was created as a means for customers to purchase the top-tier beef at any time of the day or night.

SoraNews24 further revealed that the machine has options like “hamburger steaks (1,500 yen [US$13.04]), shoulder roast (1,800 yen), thinly sliced shoulder roast for yakiniku (1,700 yen), as well as offal (1,000 yen), and sirloin steak (1,600 yen).”

After purchasing, the Wagyu beef cuts come in vacuum sealed packaging to ensure premium freshness. Japan certainly has earned a reputation for having some of the most unique vending machines in the world, but having Wagyu beef on deck 24/7 has to be up there in terms of epic food dispensers.

News Technology

DoorDash and Caviar Now Offer Nationwide Shipping

DoorDash and Caviar Nationwide Shipping

If you’ve ever had the sublime pastrami sandwich at New York legend Katz’s Deli, then you’d understand why I still have random cravings for it, wishing I could take one to the face all the way out here on the west coast.

Food delivery services DoorDash and Caviar understand the need to scratch that itch and are now offering Nationwide Shipping for institutions like Katz’s Deli and more. Besides yummy bites that can come through for you in the clutch, an array of other options, from flowers to produce, are available via Nationwide Shipping. What’s even better is that whether it’s a gift to someone or a meal to yourself, delivery is free from anywhere in the US in just a few days.

Here’s all the details on how Nationwide Shipping works on DoorDash and Caviar:

  • Open the DoorDash or Caviar app and click into the Nationwide Shipping carousel to explore available merchants and their offerings. If using the DoorDash iOS app, select the Shipping tile on the homepage to access offerings. 
  • Select the items to order and proceed to checkout. Consumers will have the option to have their order shipped ASAP or choose a future delivery date up to 3 months out. Customers can review the expected delivery date before checkout. Once the merchant has prepared the order, it’s shipped via 1-2 day free shipping (product will arrive 2-4 days from date of order on average).
  • Once the merchant ships the order, consumers will receive a confirmation email from DoorDash or Caviar. Upon the order being delivered, consumers will receive another email indicating the order has been delivered. 

Nationwide Shipping arrives at a crucial time, right before the gift-giving holidays are upon us. But overall, I’m just glad that I can have some Katz’s Deli delivered right to me in just a few days.

Fast Food Technology

Burger King and Robinhood Partnership Gives Guests A Side Of Crypto

The world of cryptocurrency can be a bit complicated for some, but thankfully, some tasty fast food is easy for many to wrap their heads around. A unique new partnership between Burger King and Robinhood Crypto is set to bring cryptocurrency to BK Royal Perks members.

Starting November 1 through November 21, Royal Perks members who spend $5 or more on the BK app, website or in-restaurant using “My Code” at participating U.S. restaurants will be rewarded with a side of cryptocurrency. The primary prizing offered is Dogecoin, with a few lucky members receiving a full Ehtereum or Bitcoin.

To help us get hip to the world of cryptocurrency, Burger King has put together a series of humorous shorts that unpack the subject for those that need help learning:

Burger King | How To Crypto: Also A Dip

Burger King | How To Crypto: Trading Crypto

Burger King | How To Crypto: Can’t Touch Crypto

Edibles Technology

Honest Marijuana Co. Launches New Line Of Fast-Acting “Insta”-Edibles

As the consumer base for cannabis expands, the product offerings are becoming more and more interesting. New flavors and strains become available almost daily and there is a cannabis infused version of anything you could imagine. The innovation can be credited to two major factors, science and an open yet mildly-regulated marketplace. 

If you tend to enjoy edibles more than flowers, you’re no doubt familiar with the randomness of the experience. It can take up to an hour to feel the effects. By the time they kick in it can be scary and overwhelming. Other times you probably could’ve downed five more brownies and been perfectly fine. Only with legalization have edibles started listing the dosage included, which has made non-cannabis consumers feel more comfortable to try it out. 

Honest Marijuana Co. is one leader in the cannabis industry poised to shake up the edible market. They recently launched a line of “Insta”-edible cannabis products that provide fast-acting effects. Using Nanobidiol™ Technology, an in-house patented process that involves reducing THC molecules to nano-sized particles then surrounding each one with a water-soluble membrane, allows the THC to be more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. In simple terms, rather than having to wait an hour to feel your fade, you’ll only have to wait minutes.

The new product line includes three options: InstaMints, InstaGummies, and InstaFizzy. InstaMints are quickly dissolving, perfect for quick lifts during your day. InstaGummies are fruity and will hit you within a minute. And lastly, InstaFizzy is a drink supplement that comes in five flavors. It’s discreet to use and takes only 2 to 10 minutes for effect. Each product comes with childproof packaging as well.

Like all Honest Marijuana Co. products, all “Insta”-Edibles are made with high quality ingredients to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Head over to their website if you’re looking to fast-track your high.

Drinks News Technology

Boba Tea Startup Bobacino Looks To Incorporate Facial Recognition Payment System

Image courtesy of Bobacino and PopID

The global pandemic has forced many businesses and restaurants to switch up their traditional models, with many pivoting to accommodate contactless ordering systems and also less face-to-face contact in service. Bobacino, a boba tea startup that is a standalone, fully integrated system and and dispenser, looks to be a part of that trend by partnering with PopID, a facial recognition payment company.

This partnership looks to allow customers the ability to pay with their face at Bobacino’s automated locations and on mobile devices.

PopID’s advanced facial recognition technology works hand in hand with Bobacino’s low-touch automation, speed and accessibility. Notable benefits of this partnership are:

  • On-site contactless ordering and payment: PopID-compatible Bobacino machines will feature full software and hardware integration, allowing customers to select and utilize PopID’s PopPay solution as a payment method on the same screen they viewed Bobacino’s menu and placed their order. Customers can still pay via traditional credit/debit cards if they do not have a PopID account.
  • App ordering and payment: Bobacino customers will be able to use PopID as a payment method on PopID’s app for placing pre-orders for pickup.
  • Customer confirmation: Customers will also have the option of verifying their identity with PopID to retrieve their order. Through an opt-in only system, the customer’s face will be scanned and authenticated to dispense the drink. No customer data will be saved on Bobacino machines.

The demand for low-touch concepts and similar solutions that align with the fluid restaurant trends caused by the pandemic has led to much interest in Bobacino’s business model.

Just the fact alone that I can get a quick boba fix with the ease of just showing my face is enough to get me excited for this new technological breakthrough.