Aug 142010
Veggie burger with zucchini/feta/pea patty.
Image via Wikipedia

Thursday night I had dinner in the future, and the hamburgers were shaped like doughnuts.

Before I get to these strange hamburger shapes, let me explain why they were from the future: my burger was created on the Internet and broadcast to Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook, part of a multiplayer online game, and my order was checked in by a receptionist with an iPad.

It’s the result of a new, hyper-connected, “healthy fast food” restaurant called 4Food, which will open in New York City on 40th and Madison Avenue next month.

Customers start by going to, where they can build a burger. There’s a list of options to choose from, including the type of burger bun,  a beef, turkey, veggie or salmon patty, condiments and more.

This is also why the burgers are shaped like doughnuts: customers are asked to pick a “scoop,” which goes into the middle of the burger, from options like avocado and chili mango, baked beans or mac and cheese.

Once you place your order, you can give it a name and off you go to pick it up. And this is where the game aspect comes in. 4Food has a leaderboard that shows the most-ordered burger. That turns it into a social networking food game.

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