While many restaurants are implementing automation systems and revising the approach to understanding the acceptable number of staff without compromising the level of product quality and customer service, Chipotle founder and former CEO Steve Ells, according to media reports, decided to maximize aspirations in the process of robotization of catering establishments.
Ells plans to return to the restaurant industry with Kernel, a chain of restaurants that will employ no more than three people and all the main work tasks will be solved by robots. The media reports that the founder of Chipotle has been discussing the implementation of this project with investors for the past year or even more.
Kernel representative Sarah Rosenberg, in response to a media request about Ells’ intention, said that the proposed startup project is a technological fast food concept that provides for the active use of software and robotics. Also, according to her, in this case, an optimized business model is provided. The startup project involves the use of a kitchen with an area of only 800 square meters. According to her, the new company will be based in Europe.
The news about a new startup aimed at radical robotization of the workflow in the field of fast food appeared shortly after the Sweetgreen restaurant chain, focused on healthy food, announced that testing of the first institution equipped with an automation system was launched in May. Two years earlier, the company had acquired Spyce, a Boston restaurant that cooked salads with its robotic kitchen that collected orders in minutes.
Jonathan Neman, co-founder, and CEO of Sweetgreen, expressed confidence that automation will improve the quality and integrity of food. Also, in his opinion, this solution will provide faster and more convenient customer service.
The results of special surveys in the United States indicate that about 75% of restaurants in this country plan to implement automation systems by the end of this year. According to representatives of the restaurant business, these solutions will help to cope with the problems of the workforce and the problems associated with costs. Also, 90% of owners of fast food establishments consider the introduction of advanced robotic technologies as an opportunity to free up time to solve more important tasks.
Studies also show that 96% of restaurants in the United States automate at least part of their internal operations.
At the same time, there is still no clear understanding of the willingness of consumers to make a choice in favor of robotic services and abandon the service provided by humans.
As we have reported earlier, AI Startup Figure Raises $70 Million for Humanoid Robot.