A-Tooch paid a second visit to a new restaurant in town with a very interesting service concept.
Vapiano may be confused. When it opened in NYC this past July, it had a fancy soiree to celebrate. But the place is no four star fine dining establishment. Don’t get me wrong, Vapiano is growing on me, let me explain…
On their very own site, the growing, German-born chain describes the experience as “Somewhere between the nicest of fast casual and hippest of casual dining restaurants.” So true! When you enter, you are given a card which you then bring to one of a few stations of your choosing, where chefs prepare salads, panini, pasta, antipasto and pizzas. Some items are prepared on the spot, for others you’ll receive a buzzer to come back. The FUTURE of dining right here, people! Come back to collect your food and sit at a table of your choosing. A few servers mill about, and come by to take drink orders and bus tables. The food isn’t half bad, the prices are right and the places gives off a swanky vibe (think, good Friday night casual dinner with friends). I should also add that the chain is probably making a lot more money by seriously cutting its front of house costs and making guests do most of the serving work.
What’s the catch? Well, the experience can tend to seem a bit like a dining hall, even though the decor and ambiance would say otherwise. Also, if it’s a busy night you could leave your table guests sitting alone for a while if you are waiting in line for your tossed pasta. A Boston Vapiano chain actually opened over a year ago and the place has really taken off all around the world. This just may be the future of casual dining — and who says Americans are lazy?!