Though Little Caesars’ new “pizza portal” sounds like a wonderful machine that could magically zap you to any far-flung pizza destination you desire, the reality is that it’s just another way we humans can get our grub while not having to actually speak to each other.
Pizza pizza, portal portal
Little Caesars is testing a new “Reserve-N-Ready” service — in about a dozen locations in Arizona — that allows customers to pick up their mobile orders from a hot box located in the restaurant.
Here’s how it works:
• After ordering and paying for their food on the Little Caesars mobile app, customers will then be notified when their order is ready.
• Once they’ve arrived at the store, customers input a three-digit PIN or scan a QR code on the Pizza Portal. A door will pop open to reveal the customer’s order.
Avoiding humans elsewhere
Little Caesars isn’t alone in marketing to those of us who are hungry but want to avoid all human contact whenever possible:
McDonald’s has been rolling out self-service ordering kiosks in restaurants since 2016, including in New York City where we interacted with them in the wild.
Panera also offers a pickup service that lets customers order online, then just show up and grab their food from a special area in their local restaurant.
And then there are other restaurants like the high-end eatery Eatsa, which acts more like a traditional automat: The San Francisco restaurant uses tablets to take customer orders, and then serves up meals from cubbies with translucent screens on the front bearing the customer’s name.