As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, El Palote Panaderia, Pleasant Grove’s beloved vegan taqueria, is approaching contact-free delivery in a decidedly unique way: with a robot.
Following the countywide order requiring restaurants to close their dining rooms, El Palote Panaderia closed its doors for a few weeks before reopening for takeout service. In that time, they developed “Palote Bot,” a remote-controlled delivery option that allows diners to pick up their orders without having to make contact with an actual human.
Check out Palote Bot in action here:
To make Palote Bot, the shop’s owners mounted a tablet onto a board that’s wearing an El Palote t-shirt and riding around on a remote-controlled Jeep that’s outfitted with a clear plastic box. Orders go inside the box, and the delivery robot wheels out orders from inside the restaurant out to diners’ cars.
“Honestly, the robot came from a desperate need to calm my anxiety about the current situation and give our customers something to laugh at when they come to pick up food,” says Aaron Arias, whose parents own El Palote. “I call him the Palote Bot, but he doesn’t really have an official name. People seem to love the concept and it gets a good laugh from anyone that sees the little dude.”
For folks who are unfamiliar with El Palote Panaderia, the restaurant has earned raves even from carnivores for its vegan tacos, burritos, and lard-free pan dulce. The restaurant is currently operating Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., which means that diners have plenty of opportunities to see Palote Bot in action.