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Recently, Tesla filed a new trademark to add the car brand as a restaurant service. This indicates that the US-based all-electric vehicle manufacturer is stretching its arms to get into eatery industry. The Tesla Technoking and other board executives have been discussing this potential venture for nearly 4 years, so it’s not a startling disclosure. Musk being the innovator that he is, has always shown enthusiasm for new ideas and ways to diversify his business.
The automobile company has in fact applied for 3 new trademarks under the following categories, Restaurant services, pop-up restaurant services, self-service restaurant services, and take-out restaurant services. This detail was published on May 27 in a filing made to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The application is currently pending a review in August.
Going from car making to food making seems like a bit of a leap. But in 2017, JB Straubel who was the Chief Technical Officer at the time, spoke at a FSTEC restaurant/technology conference. He said that Tesla’s charging stations are “morphing” into full-scale rest stops that had the potential to offer food services. Straubel said that “People are coming and spending 20 to 30 minutes at these stops. They want to eat, they want to have a cup of coffee, they want to use the bathroom”. However, at the time, he said that Tesla had no interest in managing a foodservice operation but could possibly pursue partnerships in this space.
Tesla did start offering extra services at some of its charging stations such as its Kettleman City station in California where there are waiting lounges and minimal drinks and food services.
However, Musk has said on Twitter that he wants more than just a convenience food store at the charging stations. He wants to go all. The CEO said, “Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA.” Shortly after that announcement, Tesla started movement towards its restaurant concept and supercharger station, but then it all went quiet. Tesla since then did not provide any further information on plans to open a restaurant-charging station, or if the Tesla brand would be used in restaurants business models.
In the recent filing, Tesla’s famous ‘T’ logo is displayed on the application as the trademark to be used restaurants. The EV manufacturer also applied for trademarks using the word ‘Tesla’. So, this seems that the car company is setting the wheels in motion to start rolling out its restaurant concept.
Although this is a novel move, it is not the first time that an automobile company has got into the food industry. We all know that Michelin Stars are prestigious accolades for any chef or restaurant. When a restaurant is awarded a Michelin Star, it is the highest level as a chef. Two Stars and the restaurant is excellent. Three Stars and the restaurant is worth travelling to.
The Michelin Guide started in 1900 by brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin. They wanted to stir up demand for automobiles to increase demand for their tires. They compiled a comprehensive guide of restaurants and hotels, and mechanics and gas stations were included. The French entrepreneurs had started a tire company 11 years earlier. The founders were successful in their approach because today, Michelin is that of a premium, high-quality brand. And some say that the Michelin Guide is the Bible of all dining guides.
So, we don’t expect that Tesla will devise its own star ratings for chefs, it is original in its idea to expand on its EV services by offering customers a new experience.