The Robots are here! Make room in the Kitchen

Exploring the Future of Dining: Robots in Restaurants

Have you ever imagined walking into a restaurant where robots cook your food? Well, we recently had the chance to experience just that at CaliExpress by Flippy. Nestled within its simple menu of burgers and fries lies a groundbreaking twist – its kitchen is staffed with two robots.

CaliExpress by Flippy isn’t just your run-of-the-mill fast-casual joint; it doubles as a testing ground for Miso Robotics, a company pioneering the use of robots in restaurants, with clients like White Castle and Jack in the Box already onboard.

Flippy in Action

Here’s a glimpse of how it all unfolds:

1. Ordering Made Seamless: Customers place their orders via a kiosk powered by PopID, a biometric payment platform that revolutionizes transactions. Users upload a selfie, enabling them to pay, access loyalty rewards, and more using facial recognition technology.

2. Robots in Action: Once orders are received, it’s time for the robots to shine. Miso Robotics’ Flippy takes the helm as the fry cook, churning out an impressive 150 pounds of fries per hour. However, its culinary skills extend beyond fries to include delicacies like chicken tenders, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks. Meanwhile, another robot, crafted by Cucina, expertly grinds wagyu beef and grills up to six patties simultaneously.

3. Human Touch: While the robots handle the bulk of the cooking, a human employee adds the finishing touches. From salting the fries to grilling onions and assembling burgers, they ensure that each dish meets the highest standards. They also oversee and manage the robots’ operations, ensuring a seamless dining experience. 

As we savored our meal, we couldn’t help but marvel at the sight of other Miso Robotics bots showcased throughout the restaurant. From earlier models of Flippy to Chippy, a robot designed to fry and season tortilla chips for Chipotle, innovation was on full display.

#You may have eaten Robot prepped food without knowing it!

But CaliExpress by Flippy is just the tip of the iceberg. Robots are making waves across the restaurant industry:

– Chipotle: Utilizing bots from robotics startup Hyphen, Chipotle can prepare up to 180 bowls per hour, significantly faster than human employees.
– Sweetgreen’s Infinite Kitchen: Bots churn out 400-500 dishes per hour, a staggering 50% increase compared to traditional staff.
– Robot Servers: Some restaurants have even implemented robot servers to deliver food directly to tables, enhancing efficiency and customer experience.

Now, you might wonder about the role of humans in this robotic revolution. Fear not, as humans are still an integral part of the equation:

Cost Reduction: Robots help decrease overhead costs and alleviate labor shortages, ensuring the sustainability of restaurants.
Streamlined Operations: By handling tasks like food preparation and service, robots streamline operations, leading to faster service and happier customers.
Safety First: Robots can replace humans in potentially hazardous roles, such as working with fryers or grills, ensuring a safer working environment.

Moreover, this shift towards automation opens up new opportunities for human workers. From learning how to manage and troubleshoot robots to focusing on customer-facing tasks, employees can adapt and thrive in this evolving landscape.

While the full impact of automation in the restaurant industry remains to be seen, one thing’s for sure – the future of dining is looking increasingly robotic. So next time you visit a restaurant, keep an eye out for Flippy and friends and immerse yourself in the culinary wonders of tomorrow.

For restaurant owners, the next time your cooking staff calls in ‘sick’ the morning of your busiest day of the week, is this something worth considering?  Let us know your thoughts! 

author avatar
Chad Wisneski VP Sales and Marketing
VP of Sales and Marketing for Chef's Kitchen, 86 Foodservice, Meadowbrook Egg & Dairy and Dearborn Marketplace.

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