Tech isn’t simply about transforming your business for a modern age. It can also be about taking old ideas, then reframing and improving upon them using new tools. The automat is one example. Automats were the original quick-service restaurants, serving up simple food and drink in vending machines at the turn of the 20th century in the U.S. Customers would order a meal, then insert coins and open a window to collect it. While the original automat concept fizzled out, recent improvements in technology and restaurants’ labor challenges have reset the conditions for the reinvention of this service model. As Fast Casual reported recently, New York’s Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is using a reimagined automat to serve up its dumplings and spring rolls. Ordering and collection are contactless: Customers simply order from their phone within a few miles of the restaurant, select a pickup time and receive a barcode. Each prepared order is left in a temperature-controlled locker that a customer can unlock simply with a wave of their phone.