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Sunday, September 23 Business

Fairfield barbecue restaurant will look to remove wait times

When Barbacoa Smoke House opens, owner Nigel Bradley said he is looking to bring a futuristic spin to the restaurant scene.

The barbecue-themed restaurant is slated to open on the first floor of the Trademark Fairfield building at 665 Commerce Drive in Fairfield. The restaurant is the first commercial tenant to set up in the mixed-use building and will occupy a 4,159-square-foot space.

“We’ve tried to build a system that will be completely different,” Bradley said.

With experience in running fast food restaurants and franchises, Bradley said he saw a need for a barbecue restaurant that could serve people in a timely manner during lunch hour.

With more than 100 apartment units above Barbacoa, the restaurant’s business model puts an emphasis on speed without sacrificing quality as Bradley plans to have customers in and out within eight minutes. He plans to use modern technology to help achieve his goal.

“The technology piece that is in the world now is fabulous,” he said. “We just are not using it very well, and we are trying to use what we know is now available from some of these very smart guys and girls who are producing it and to use it to make life easier for everybody.”

Aside from the kitchen staff and few other positions, the eatery will replace much of the traditional restaurant staff, using kiosks in place of cashiers and waiters. Rather than placing an order with a server, customers can scroll through food selections and order remotely.

If no stations are open, customers will also be able to place orders from mobile phones and tablets. Once food is prepared, they will get a text letting them know the meal is ready for pickup.

“One of the biggest problems that we’ve seen in the food industry is the wait time encapturing people who order their food,” Bradley said.

According to Bradley, kiosk stations will also feature a facial recognition component that will identify a returning customer and recall previous orders, offering the option to repeat or change a selection.

The barbecue restaurant will offer a variety of smoked and slow-cooked meats that can be prepared to order. Rather than featuring a set menu, Bradley said patrons can take control of their orders.

Along with food, Barbacoa will feature a variety of drink selections, including beer and wine.

“We are structuring so that it’s a little bit like you being at home at night, and you open your refrigerator doors, you look inside of it and go ‘what have I got to eat,’ and you have a fully stocked refrigerator.” Bradley said, adding that kiosks will have between 30 and 40 ingredients to put into a meal.

Barbacoa Smoke house will be having a soft opening on March 8, and will be hosting its grand opening in April.

jordan.grice@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @JordanEGrice

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