What Happened: White Castle will deploy a robot called Flippy ROAR — Robot On A Rail — at an undisclosed Chicago-based restaurant to cook french fries 24 hours a day, the publication said.
The move is part of White Castle's strategy of positioning itself to be a futuristic and more efficient brand.
Flippy's rise to prominence traces to a Florida burger chain called CaliBurger. The chain wants to become one of the most tech-enabled restaurants, Buck Jordan, the CEO of Flippy's creator, Miso Robotics, told QSRweb.
Flippy is also being used at concession stands at Dodger Stadium. The artificial intelligence capabilities let the robot cook a temperature-controlled breaded chicken. The robot can also flip burgers and do some preparations in the kitchen.
Why It's Important: Flippy is considered a "tool for empowerment, not replacement" and it was greeted with "universal enthusiasm" when first announced at an annual conference for general managers, White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson told QSRweb.
"So this doesn't limit the number of people we're going to employ or the hours. What it does do is it lets us be more precise," he said.
What's Next: Miso Robotics plans on offering restaurants a robot unit for no upfront cost but with a recurring monthly fee as part of a "robots as a service" strategy, Jordan said. The robot is also expected to pick up new tasks, including flipping burgers and prep work during downtime.
Photo by Ben Britten via Wikimedia.
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