Catch it if you can — your food, that is. The London-based chain YO! Sushi, known for zipping raw fish around on conveyor belts, needed a new stunt for delivering burgers, its latest menu item. So it created an entirely new delivery method: the flying tray.
Your food will be delivered directly to your plate by one of the new drones that YO! Sushi is testing out at its flagship store in central London. Dubbed the iTray, the four-propeller flying waiter is outfitted with a flat top to carry plates and is controlled by a nearby waiter with an iPad. Two cameras on the machine help guide it to the proper starving patrons. As soon as the food is retrieved, the trays fly back to the kitchen.
(MORE: Rise of the Drones)
YO! Sushi helped pioneer conveyor-belt sushi in the U.K., allowing the freshest sushi to circulate through the restaurant. The chain recently introduced a sushi burger, filled with teriyaki chicken or kimchi salmon and topped with toasted rice “buns.” To promote the new product with a bit of gimmickry, YO! Sushi looked to technology once again. “The concept came from our thinking of ‘How are we going to show people how light and exciting and fun this food type is?’” YO! Sushi CEO Robin Rowland explained in a promotional video. So it may be just a temporary idea after all, even though the flying tray can deliver food at speeds of 25 m.p.h. — exponentially quicker than your average waiter.
Sadly the iTrays are only in operation inside the confines of the restaurant. If YO! Sushi wants to be competitive in the food-delivery-by-drone market, it will have to soar to new heights, and quickly. There is already a burrito-dropping drone being tested over the San Francisco skies. And just last week, Domino’s Pizza announced it’s closing in on the aerial market over the U.K., testing out an unmanned craft called the DomiCopter that can deliver two pizza pies at once.
Never again will you have to worry about your server tripping and spilling your food en route to your table. Instead, you have to worry about fellow diners’ heads getting in the way. With every innovation comes a slight fear of sticky rice falling on you.