Artificial intelligence-powered smoothie shop Better Blends, located in the heart of San Francisco, shut down after less than two months of business, per the New York Post.
Founders Michael Parlato and Clayton Reynolds told The San Francisco Standard that they were hopeful San Francisco would provide adequate business for their new shop. Reynolds also said the city’s welcome had been “phenomenal.”
The shop worked by having customers scan a QR code to order. By selecting options like “healthy” and “post-workout,” people guided the AI smoothie maker. Other specifications also made each smoothie more geared toward an individual’s health goals.
Customers could adjust sweetness, choose specific ingredients and adjust the nutrition content for specific diets. Better Blends’ menu includes one item: “Your Smoothie, powered by AI” for $9.99.
TS2 Space reported that Parlato and Reynolds’ aim was “to address the overwhelming customizations and preferences found in the boba tea industry.” The AI helper tried to help reduce the confusion of sprawling menus and endless options.
The Guardian reported that a sign appeared on the shop’s door in mid-October, saying, “Temporarily closed, be back in an hour.” The doors have not reopened since.
One Google reviewer posted two weeks ago, “I was hopeful for this business. The owners however did not understand the discipline to run a restaurant. It was often open late and closed early. They changed their hours after a week of being open.”
By Oct. 23, Better Blends no longer had equipment inside. The New York Post reported that the only items now inside the shop are several trash cans and plants.
A worker at a nearby coffee shop, Christian Cecena, told The Guardian, “That sign went up and we never saw them again. It’s just sad because we really need more businesses in this area.”
https://www.deseret.com/u-s-world/2023/11/3/23942558/ai-smoothie-shop-closes-san-francisco AI smoothie shop in San Francisco closed: Why did Better Blends close?