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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Automated Restaurant  
  Food is prepared and served entirely automatically.  

In this classic, one of the most basic human needs is attended to by machinery.

Kantos Kan led me to one of these gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus. No hand touched the food from the time it entered the building in its raw state until it emerged hot and delicious upon the tables before the guests, in response to the touching of tiny buttons to indicate their desires.
From A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Published by All-Story in 1912
Additional resources -

It's likely that this idea was inspired by the first automats, which were 'restaurants' that featured food sold from what we now call vending machines. The first automat in the U.S. was opened in 1902 in Philadelphia, inspired by the world's first, which opened in Berlin, Germany.

These original automats did have a human employee, whose function was to provide nickels to customers to feed the machines. When the appropriate number of nickels was fed into the slot, and the meal chosen, the customer could slide the door open to receive his food.

Compare to the home food preparation machine from Unto Us A Child Is Born, by David H. Keller (1933).

Thanks to an anonymous reader for suggesting this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Princess of Mars
  More Ideas and Technology by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  Tech news articles related to A Princess of Mars
  Tech news articles related to works by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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