An Area Ripe For Automation
So I was at the local Kroger, and was buying some things at the deli and had time to think. (Cue anxious music.) What I was noticing was how long it took to do a pretty simple order, two sliced meats and one sliced cheese. Nothing fancy. Watching the people behind the counter, there were at least 6, in an area that can't have that high hourly sales. Plus there was a lot of wasted food, as small ends and the first slice were thrown out while adjusting the machine.
So I got to wondering how hard it would be to automate the deli and have most of the work done in a big regional commisary and then have machines do the actual vending. It would definitely take some doing, robotics is not really there yet, but if you designed the food products for easy handling, you could probably make this work and still do slice to order. There would be an initial high capital cost, but it might pay for itself pretty quickly.
I know from when I worked at the markets that the deli is considered to be one of the worst places in the market to work.