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Restaurant in a box: Yo Kai Express lets you eat delicious food anytime and anywhere

Chi Ko 2021/02/01
 賀大新攝影
賀大新攝影

Andy Lin, the founder of the Yo-Kai Express, started his career as an engineer at a global semiconductor group in the US. He frequently needed to attend video conference meetings with Taiwan semiconductor supply chains. Because of the time difference, the meeting usually ends at midnight US time. Andy Lin, burning the midnight oil with a starving belly, was craving for a bowl of delicious comfort food only to find everywhere was closed at 2 in the morning. Thinking of those people that have had the same experiences, Andy Lin decided to come up with Yo-Kai Express to solve this problem.

“Yo-Kai is a Japanese word that means a class of monsters and spirits in Japanese folklore which appears anywhere. Our company is named Yo-Kai Express because we want to achieve the same thing by showing up at places that are difficult to have a restaurant or have restaurants but serve bad food in order to let people have mouthwatering meals anywhere,” Yo-Kai Express CEO Andy Lin said.

Yo-Kai Express's vending machine can serve food within one minute

Different from just putting frozen food into the microwave stove, Yo-Kai designed pre-processing methods for each meal on their menu, which means tuning the parameter of every food to make it best fit for heating. Furthermore, they developed a technology that can heat the temperature to 300 degrees Celcius within a few seconds. Combined with these two methods, customers can see Yo-Kai’s machine as a food factory that can deliver fresh food to you directly.

Until the end of 2020, Yo-Kai’s customers cover big tech companies such as Netflix, Tesla, and SoftBank. This list keeps growing, and students from the University of California San Francisco(UCSF), University of Arizona, City College of San Francisco, and National Taiwan University can also have flavorful Yo-Kai raman in early 2021.

You can find Yo-Kai Express in more and more companies and universities now.

With successful experience from serving ramen, Andy Lin wants to copy this experience to extend their menu. For that, Yo-Kai Express teamed up with different food companies to use scientific methods to breakdown different food, making the meal reproducible by Yo-Kai Express’s machine and taste as good as usual. Customers can expect bubble tea from the Yo-Kai Express in the near future.

Targeting busy working professionals that do not have much time to prepare food at home, Yo-Kai Express also launched Takumi, which is a smart home cooking appliance. Takumi not only can make coffee but has programmed recipes. With Yo-Kai Express’s home meal kits, people can have tasty food in just a few minutes.

About the Author
Chi Ko
Journalist 英文採訪編輯
Author >

Chi Ko is a journalist at Meet Global, a Taiwan-based startup community, where he reports ambitious Taiwanese startups to aim at going to the global market, as well as the latest news for the Taiwan startup ecosystem. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at Center for Condensed Matter Science from National Taiwan University and work as a guest editor at Academia Sinica to cover latest research breakthroughs. Within his career, he has interviewed various experts in their field, including Maw-Kuen Wu, former Minister of National Science Council; Bob Hung, general manager of Trend Micro Taiwan. He lives in Taipei.

If you know any Taiwanese startups aim to global market, feel free to leave a message at kochi@bnext.com.tw

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