A New York-based automated dumpling shop is set to expand globally with a bold foray into Vancouver.
Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is a "zero human interaction"-style dining experience where the dishes are essentially set up inside "lockers" you open up after paying to retrieve your selection. The model is a modernization of the "automat," the famous self-serve cafeterias that were wildly popular in Philadelphia and New York City in the early 1900s. (There is a great documentary from 2021 called The Automat you can stream on the Kanopy platform, to learn more about this pioneering restaurant model.)
Breaking onto the scene in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop first made waves by heralding that the future of dining could be contactless - particularly in the face of lockdowns and health-based restrictions. Its first location debuted in NYC's Manhattan (not Brooklyn, actually) about a year later, and drew acclaim for having round-the-clock stock of dumplings in a variety of flavours, including cheeseburger, Reuben, Buffalo Ranch, and peanut butter and jelly.
The menu also features dessert dumplings, spring rolls, bowls, breakfast items (called "Cro'Sumplings") and sides like fries, as well as vegan and gluten-free options.
NYC restaurateur and BDS founder Stratis Morfogen, whose family got their start in the diner game, partnered with global franchise business Fransmart to grow the business. Currently, 80 locations are in the works in the U.S. alone.
Now Brooklyn Dumpling Shop has signed an international multi-unit deal to bring the popular dumpling concept to Vancouver.
“It’s an exciting time for Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, and I am looking forward to being part of the brand’s international growth story and bringing the brand into one of my favorite places, Vancouver," says Grace Lovret, who is heading up the brand's first international franchise agreement.
Lovret has plans to open eight BDS automat locations in Vancouver, however, specific details about where they will be located is not yet available. V.I.A. will update as soon as those details are provided.
Fransmart, incidentally, is also behind the expansion of The Halal Guys, a NYC chain that will open its first Vancouver franchise in early 2023.