Tokyo International Food Court

During the Olympic Games, tens of thousands of people will eat and drink at the venues of the event every day and as the competitors and the spectators will be of a very diverse of nationalities, the catering units serving them will also be.

In order to simultaneously improve the quality, diversity and efficiency of the services provided by the catering units, it would be worthwhile to build a new type of service building next to the sports facilities of the Olympic Games.

This new type of service building would be a circular two-story building. On the ground floor, at least one dozen different catering units could serve from McDonald’s to traditional Japanese restaurants. As the guests would not be served inside the building, not only the fast food kitchens but the full-service restaurant kitchens will also fit in the large-scale service building.

Serving desks of catering units would be located along the outer arc of the service building, fundamentally creating an outdoor food court for catering the guests, where guests would be able to consume their orders at tables and chairs situated in the environment of a landscape park surrounding the service building.

The uniqueness of the service building would be given by the open roof terrace, which would occupy the top of the building, where custom designed tables for guests would be available. To all of the tables fixed to the top of the service building a smaller transparent round box with an opening and closing door would be installed in the middle, which would be connected by a tube of about one meter in diameter to the otherwise empty first floor of the building. Each of these tubes would be equipped with a pneumatic cylinder, which technically would serve as a simple food-elevator between the first floor and the tables on the roof terrace.

That means meals and drinks ordered by guests should only be placed on trays on the tops of pneumatic cylinders in the tubes starting from the first floor, in order that they can get to the tables of consumers by pushing off a button. So the catering units in the service building could quickly and efficiently deliver their orders to guests despite the large floor area of the roof terrace. Insomuch as a very large number of service staff could be operating without disturbing guests in consumption with their continuous traffic. Moreover, the usage of augmented reality (AR) eyeglasses would be also possible for the staff to navigate between tubes on the first floor of the service building, since this would not disturb guests because they will not meet people delivering their orders.

Logically, dirty trays, plates and glasses could be sent backwards with the same solution and the service building would have its own common service staff to collect and wash and then redistribute them between the catering units. This common service staff would also provide cleaning of the outdoor dining area and the roof terrace from washing of the tables to collection of garbage.

In order to make simple placing orders for the roof terrace guests, each table of the roof terrace would have at least one touch screen, wherethrough the guests could choose from the sortiment of the catering units. There would also be a digital payment terminal through which they could pay their orders. Cash payment at the roof terrace tables would not be possible.

At the same time, it also allows guests to order from the catering unit in parallel, selecting food and drinks from different catering units to the same order, for example. For realizing such need, the service building would have a unified payment system that would distribute bank transfers of the guests between the catering units based on their orders.

I think with the help of its shared service and payment system of this new type of service building, it would be ideal to represent higher quality Japanese cuisine at affordable prices during and after the Olympic Games.

(The first version of this concept was written in February 2018.)