From Ford’s assembly line to Amazon’s warehouse circulatory package system, the conveyor belt has numerous economic uses. And now, the ingenious device is delivering sushi to a restaurant table near you.
All across the country, a concept developed in Osaka in the 1950s is now taking the states by storm. Conveyor-belt restaurants have opened in cities around the nation, from New York to Denver to Los Angeles.
The trend has been catching on especially fast in Sin City. Deep in the heart of Las Vegas’ Chinatown district, a number of Asian automated dining experiences have opened in the last few months, honing in on a culinary tradition that is unique to Japan. Six such food outposts will be open by the end of the year.
“I have this whole theory about Las Vegas that everything has to have an entertainment component to it. You’re vying for locals, you’re vying for tourist dollars, and I think this is a great story for you to go home with. You can tell your friends, ‘We were at this crazy restaurant where we picked up all these dishes off a conveyor belt and it was so much fun,’” said Susan Stapleton, a local food industry expert and editor of Vegas.Eater.com.
Historically, most conveyor belts diners choose from rotating sushi. But one restaurant, Chubby Cattle, offers customers a plethora of items to pick off the belt. Diners have the option of taking the Mongolian-Tibetan-Chinese-inspired samplings and cooking them in the hot pot at their table. The restaurant also boasted the first conveyor belt food delivery system in Vegas.