Get a taste of the future at Singapore’s newest “smart” coffee shops

In the ongoing march towards a smart(er) nation, your neighborhood coffee shop has been given a techy upgrade. Two new coffee shops in Tampines and Choa Chu Kang were launched over the weekend, and feature innovations like tray-return robots, digital ordering and cashless payment options.

Dubbed “productive” coffee shops, these digitally-inclined kopitiams still serve all your favorite hawker fare, but are meant to use less manpower in light of a tightening labour market. At the FoodTastic coffee shop at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1, you can expect a fuss-free dining experience thanks to self-ordering kiosks and mobile apps that eliminate the hassle of having to stand in line for food. Other cool tech features include a ready-to-eat hot food vending machine and a tray-return automation system.

Also, which high-tech coffee shop would be complete without an army of robots? At FoodTastic, they have mechanized minions that handle everything from cleaning the floors to composting food waste, and even one that’ll help you return your trays. The same goes for the Koufu-operated Happy Hawkers coffee shop at Tampines Street 86, which also has similar features like self-ordering kiosks and an automatic food-waste digester. According to the operators, the coffee shops implemented with smart technologies have reduced manpower by up to 60 per cent compared with regular coffee shops, freeing up staff for more value-added job designations. 

With the government targeting to have 100 of these coffee shops around the country by 2020, looks like we’ll be interacting more with pleasant machines and less with irate hawkers. Can we also request for a robot to help us reserve seats?

, Get a taste of the future at Singapore’s newest “smart” coffee shops

This story originally appeared on Stuff Singapore, bringing you what’s next in the world of tech and gadgets, with a twist.