Restaurant automation has arrived

It’s official. The future has finally arrived. Just like in “The Jetsons” cartoon, you can now push buttons on a computer and the meal of your choice slides out on a tray. OK, maybe not immediately and certainly not for free, but at the new Specialty’s Café and Bakery on Brand Boulevard in Glendale, that’s pretty much how it works.

Questionable spelling aside, Specialty’s is totally plugged in to the modern, techno-friendly way of doing things. In the middle of the restaurant, there is a bank of iPads at which you place your order. If you’ve been there before, your preferences immediately pop up. If this is your first time, there are friendly assistants hovering nearby to help you with your order. When it’s finalized, you’re assigned a beeper number and buzzed when your food’s ready. It’s simple, fast and elegant. You can order the old-fashioned way, from a human at a register, but what’s the fun in that?

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