“We didn’t launch the business in 2005 because the touchscreen store menus cost $5,000 a pop back then. Now they’re $400, and that allows us to run the front-of-house without employees,” Scutellaro said. “We also streamlined the back-of-the-house operations in a way that food can be turned around in five to 10 minutes.”
In deference to the foodie culture, Scutellaro and his partners hired chef Phillip Speer to design the menu. In 2019, his Comedor restaurant in Austin was named one of the best new restaurants in America by The Robb Report and “Austin Restaurant of the Year” by Texas Monthly. Items include old favorites like chicken pot pie, but also an Atlantic salmon entree and a frito pie burrito that never made it behind the doors at Horn & Hardart.
Scutellaro recently signed a letter of intent for a second location with an entertainment property in Florida and is looking to franchise Automat Kitchen.