World’s first ‘flying’ food tray takes off

It’s unlikely to have catering equipment dealers desperately clearing space in their showrooms just yet, but a new automated food delivery device can certainly be described as a ‘high-flying’ product.

Japanese restaurant chain Yo! Sushi has introduced what has been dubbed the ‘iTray’ — a lightweight helicopter-style gadget that flies food directly to customers’ tables.

The carbon fibre device is controlled by waiters and waitresses using iPads and enables staff to deliver food at a range of 50 metres.

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Yo! Sushi is trialling two of the iTrays at its flagship Soho branch as part of a promotional campaign to highlight its new range of burgers.

While it looks like a gimmick, reports claim the company could extend the concept to other restaurants that it operates around the UK.

Yo! Sushi has trialled a number of equipment innovations since it first showed up on UK high streets 15 years ago, and is credited with bringing the kaiten conveyor belt to the UK. It also pioneered speaking robot drinks trolleys and self-heating plates.

Mike Lewis, YO! Sushi’s executive chef, told the national press: “We’ve been training our Soho team for several weeks now to get used to working with our new flying friend. With the YO! Burger, we wanted to introduce our customers something entirely new, inspired by Japan and exclusive to us. It’s taken several months to develop, a raft of new kitchen equipment, but with the YO! Burger and iTray we know guests will feel like they’ve had a taste of the future.”

You can see a video of the iTray in action here.

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