Zero-Contact Foodservice Concept ‘Brooklyn Dumpling Shop’ Entering Canada with Plans for Over 100 Locations [Interview]


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Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, an innovative zero contact dumpling shop, is arriving in Canada this upcoming October and has plans to expand throughout the country with over 100 locations.

The Brooklyn Dumpling Shop will be a new concept in Canada and offers a zero contact experience. The restaurant offers traditional dumplings along with specialty dumplings such as mac and cheese and pepperoni pizza. Consumers can also find vegan and gluten free options, breakfast dumplings such as bacon and cheese, and dessert dumplings. The specialty dumplings started at the restaurant Brooklyn Chop House and since then has seen success.

“The dumplings became so big at Brooklyn Chop House that I simultaneously wrote a book called Damn Good Dumplings and then from there, we came up with the idea of doing a fast casual version of it – and that is where Brooklyn Dumpling Shop was born,” says Stratis Morfogen, the founder and CEO of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop and Brooklyn Chop House. “The dumplings became a huge hit. I took mac and cheese, pastrami, bacon, cheeseburger, lamb, peanut butter and jelly – and I made them into dumplings.”

Stratis Morfogen (Image: Brooklyn Dumpling Shop)

Plans for Canada

Currently, Brooklyn Dumplings have five locations opened in New York City and five under construction. By the end of September, the restaurant will have twelve locations and by the end of the year will have twenty – including the locations planned for Canada. To expand in Canada, Morfogen said he was approached by and has partnered with Sitewise Solutions Inc.

“We gave the rights to the group and they are now the franchise oil for Canada. After experiencing the concept in New York, they wanted to bring it to Canada. Their plans already include opening 108 Brooklyn Dumpling Shops in the next ten years.”

Image: Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
Image: Brooklyn Dumpling Shop Menu

The first three locations in Canada will be in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. As for exact locations, Morfogen was only able to clarify Calgary.

The Calgary location will be at 1113-9th Avenue SW. The construction for the restaurant has already begun and will be opening up its doors for October 2nd. As for the locations in Vancouver and Edmonton which will be opening by the end of the year, leases have been signed but they are waiting for official leases to be completed.

“The whole country is going to be scaled. First starting in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver and then the group will make its way throughout Canada. The contract allows them for 110 units, and they have ten years to build them.”

Using Automat Concept for Zero Interaction

Image: Brooklyn Dumpling Shop
Image: Brooklyn Dumpling Shop

All locations provide a contact free experience for consumers.

“Automat is in every Brooklyn Dumpling Shop – it is part of our model. We don’t have cashiers, we don’t have any transactional staff, All our customer service is one-on-one and operations but our transactions are created by smartphone which engages with the Automat.”

Consumers can use their phones to place an order, pick a time, and then the product will be waiting in the 140 degree automat locker. Consumers will receive a QR code to their phones which is used to scan to open the locker and pick up the order. Temperatures can be changed for each locker depending on what has been ordered. As with any traditional restaurant, there are tables available for consumers.

Along with the in-store automat concept, the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop also has vending machines. The vending machines are controlled by an app and the dumplings are cooked inside the vending machine within three minutes.

Both concepts will be used in Canada and people can expect to see the vending machines hopefully by the middle of next year.

Dumplings Vending Machines (Image: Brooklyn Dumplings)

This is not the first time the automat concept has been used as it began in 1895 in the Berlin Zoological Gardens. The first automat concept arrived in the United States in 1902 and only took nickels. They disappeared for decades and eventually were seen again during the pandemic to limit interactions between consumers and staff.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop also offers catering services and sells apparel and accessories online such as sweaters, shirts, hats, aprons, and more.

“Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is different as Canadians have never seen this before. If they think of it as like a mini sandwich – that is basically what the Brooklyn Shop is. We call it the pig in the blanket for sandwiches and it is easy to eat. It is great to introduce to children and it makes amazing parties and catering.”

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.


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