The company behind a robot fast food cook has a new mission: Help humans cook burgers that won't get customers sick. Miso Robotics, the firm behind Flippy, the robot-on-rails fry cook solution that's been garnering big backing and has debuted at restaurants including Pasadena's CaliBurger chain, has a new software-based offering for fast food restaurants that aren't ready to go full robot just yet. Packaged as a standalone software as a service (SaaS) offering, the company's new CookRight is billed as the world's first artificial intelligence (AI) powered cooking platform meant to keep human fry cooks from torching burgers--or worse, undercooking them, which can be a serious health hazard. That last is a particularly strong selling point in the wake of a global pandemic that's left consumers more conscious than ever of safe handling practices. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), every year, an estimated 1-in-6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.
Consumers' choices of which restaurants to patronize are based not only on their food cravings but on whether they can meet the diners' desires for safety and convenience. The pandemic has led many customers to replace indoor dining experiences with takeout and delivery purchases instead, and many have been turning to digital tools like websites, mobile apps and scannable QR codes posted in restaurants' windows to help them easily place these orders. Eateries are looking to cater to this shifting consumer demand and to spare their staff from close customer contact that could increase employees' risk of catching the virus. These two motivations are driving restaurants to adopt various technologies to facilitate swift, remote customer interactions. Millennial and Generation Z diners appear particularly swayed by such tools, with 61 percent saying that the ability to pay digitally is a key factor in influencing their restaurant choice.
The Big Mac might be McDonald's most famous item, but a lot of people don't know much about it. Check out the history of the fast-food chain's beloved burger. The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of changes to restaurants. Since many casual restaurants had to close their doors and switch to take-out only, people were ordering fast food even more than usual. And because the "grab-and-go" factor is already a perk of fast-food restaurants, it was basically a no-brainer for those who hoped grab a meal and maintain social distancing.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many Americans have turned to the drive-thru as a safer means of picking up food. For some, the voice on the speaker by the menu board may be the only other person they interact with all day. But a new wave of technology that is set to transform the fast food industry may change all that. The next time you order a value meal, it might be the equivalent of Siri or Alexa taking your order. As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to play a big role in our daily lives, customers should prepare for an automated voice to ask: Do you want fries with that?
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Pizza Hut is reaching new heights with its latest delivery experiment. Tech company Dragontail Systems Limited announced this week that it has deployed drones for restaurants to carry meals to delivery drivers in remote landing zones. Those drones will be flying pizzas from a Pizza Hut location in northern Israel starting in June, The Wall Street Journal reported.
After a successful pilot program to test a robotic fry cook this summer, White Castle will expand the automated cook concept by ten times. The pilot, which began this summer, and the newly announced expansion both come as COVID-19 shakes up the restaurant industry and drives new automation technologies to increase efficiencies and sanitation. The robot, which we've covered since it came out of stealth, is built by Miso Robotics. It's called Flippy, Robot-on-a-Rail (ROAR), which is an update to an earlier autonomous fry cook concept. During the pandemic, a huge market opportunity has emerged for automation in food preparation.
The restaurant industry has never been for the faint of heart, what with the razor-thin profit margins and continuous churn of employees. Combine that with the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and, well, it's no surprise that tens of thousands of eateries across the country have shuttered permanently over the last seven months alone. However, Miso Robotics (makers of Flippy, the burger-flipping robot chef) argue that the path back to financial stability for America's restaurants will require an autonomous revolution. Buck Jordan, founder and CEO of Miso Robotics, points out to Engadget that the switch from full-service dining to exclusively take out and delivery has many restaurants "operating a loss and just trying to hang on," especially when delivery apps like UberEats and DoorDash take upwards of a 30 percent cut out of each order. "You can see why closing up shop is really the only option for many once your revenue is coming from delivery orders," he continued.
A burger-flipping robot named Flippy, which is designed to hang upside down from a cook station in fast food kitchens, is now available globally for commercial customers, the bot's maker announced today. Miso Robotics is hoping its Robot-on-a-Rail (ROAR) system will transform fast food, particularly with food prep challenges related to COVID-19 an ongoing problem. The robot has undergone field trials in existing restaurants, including at select White Castle locations. "We're are incredibly excited to announce global commercial availability of Flippy ROAR," said Mike Bell, CEO of Miso Robotics. "After we shared a sneak peek of the prototype in January, we've seen demand through the roof from operators, especially in light of COVID-19. Miso Robotics is confident that this demand will set us up for success and provide the automation the industry needs to not only recover but accelerate growth."
In a restaurant landscape where lean profit margins are getting even slimmer due to the necessary COVID-19 safety measures of distancing, staying afloat is an increasingly difficult challenge. Small wonder, then, that some operators are using whatever means they can to stand out from their competition. Robot waiters, although not a new phenomenon, are making headlines around the world again, but this time with a socially distanced twist. At Claypot Rice, a Chinese restaurant in Calgary, robot greeters and servers chat with guests, take orders and run food from the kitchen. These are typically three distinct roles performed by humans, a fact not lost on owner Alex Guo.
For the restaurant industry which is trying to cope with challenges while providing the services minimising human contact and maintaining social distance are the two crucial challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic. In South Korea's Seoul, a trolley-like robot has been designed which uses artificial intelligence (A.I) to serve food to the customers at a restaurant. Known as'Aglio Kim', the robot helps in minimising human interaction. After customers order through a touch-screen digital menu on the table, the 1.25-meter-tall robot, developed by South Korean telecoms company KT Corp, brings the food to the table. It has been designed to use its visual SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) capabilities to avoid obstacles while serving and navigate around customers. The robot is equipped with food trays which can carry up to 30 kilograms and can reportedly deliver food to up to four tables at once.