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Quora Answer : How might the restaurant industry be disrupted?

May 25, 2011

Arguably, it has been. By fast-food joints and take-aways.

To disrupt again (assuming Clayton Christensen's notion of disruption) you'd need something which was inferior, but at a price / granularity / convenience that was preferable to a larger customer base than that of traditional restaurants.

A couple of ideas :

Some combination of vending machine with built-in microwave that could dispense hot snacks. Eg. I confess that I find some of http://www.unclebens.co.uk/our-products/rice/express pretty tasty. How hard would it be for a machine to microwave and dispense pots of this?

A completely different thing that's taking off in London are "pop-up" restaurants like http://ramblingrestaurant.com/ which come to a particular venue for a single meal. They're classy and fun and have good food (ie. "experiences" like you want from a real restaurant) but because they're temporary, they don't pay the overhead of a permanent restaurant venue. Perhaps the same principle could be expanded and aimed at a wider audience. Itinerant cooks willing to take over church halls or school sports halls or any semi-public space to affordably bring a restaurant-quality meal to some corner of suburbia.

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