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Canada's 1st fully-automated restaurant coming to Toronto

Last Updated Jun 16, 2020 at 3:01 pm EDT

A new restaurant coming to downtown Toronto is taking social distancing to a whole new level.

Box’d, the brainchild of Paramount Fine Foods CEO Mohamad Fakih, is being billed as Canada’s first fully-automated restaurant.

Inspired by the flavours of the Middle East, Box’d has a variety of cold and hot foods on the menu – including Paramount’s signature hummus served a variety of ways.

To order food, customers have the option to either use the restaurant’s automated kiosks, scan a QR code on their smartphones and place their order through their phone, or pre-order from home.

Just because the system is automated doesn’t mean there aren’t real people hard at work. Box’d will have a number of chefs preparing fresh meals for its customers.

“I believe in people, people always come first for me. I will never propose something that is robotic, that takes away people, that takes away jobs,” Fakih said.

Once the order is ready, it will be placed in a cubbie and a large digital screen will direct the customer to the correct location to pick up their food.

To open the cubbie, the customer simply presses twice on the plexiglass door, which will slide open, and lunch is served.

The company says the boxes will be cleaned after every use.

Although it may seem as if this type of restaurant was hand-crafted for today’s pandemic climate, the owners say it has been in the works for quite a while.

Box’d opens June 18 in the city’s Financial District.