Robots are quickly becoming the new face of labor across the restaurant industry. They’re blending smoothies, frying chicken wings and French fries, mixing drinks, brewing coffee and running food. And restaurant chains, many of which are struggling to find employees, are embracing the labor-saving technology these machines offer.
The cost of employing a robot in the kitchen can also be comparable to the salary of one employee. Miso Robotics, for example, charges a $5,000 installation fee for its Flippy 2 fry cook robot and a $3,000 monthly fee. During its first year, the robotic fryers cost $41,000 and $36,000 each subsequent year. Comparatively, an employee working three dayparts at a $15 hourly salary costs $65,700 in raw wages.
It’s not only robotics that chains are looking into, but also conversational artificial intelligence to take orders at the drive-thru and manage phone orders. And this is just the beginning, emerging computer vision technology, which typically deploys up to 50 cameras, are providing operators with real-time data on restaurant operations using artificial intelligence. Here’s a look at how automation innovation is taking shape in the restaurant space.