NEW YORK--The team behind 4food, a burger shop opening next month on Madison Avenue and East 40th Street in midtown Manhattan, might have put forth the most idealistic concept that the fast-food industry has yet seen. There will be custom online orders with more than 140 million possible combinations, employees armed with iPads, free Wi-Fi, and a socially minded "green" mission that aims to use local, high-quality ingredients and compost everything that's thrown away.
Having gone to a preview event hosted by Gawker Media gadget blog Gizmodo on Thursday night, and having spent about an hour on 4food's Web site the prior day to lovingly craft a customized salmon burger on a brioche roll with Brussels sprouts, gruyere cheese, and hummus, I can say that the food component of 4food really is surprisingly good.
The three-level space is impressive, with power outlets at every seat (your receipt comes with a Wi-Fi password) and a massive video screen that projects, among other things, recent tweets and public Foursquare check-ins to the venue. When 4food opens in the second week of September, there will be a half-dozen iPads for self-service orders, as well as iPad-equipped employees walking around to speed things up.… Read more