- CaliExpress by Flippy, a fully automated restaurant created by Cali Group, Miso Robotics and technology firm PopID, is expected to open this month in Pasadena, California, according to a press release.
- The restaurant uses autonomous grill and fry stations that use proprietary artificial intelligence and robotics to cook food, requiring minimal human labor.
- Customers order by creating signing into a PopID account on digital kiosks, after which robots prepare and cook their orders.
CaliExpress by Flippy claims that its technology creates a “safer, easier and friendlier kitchen” for employees by nearly eliminating slippage and burns at the fry station. Its creator companies also said it provides above-average wages to employees because the restaurant can be run by a small number of workers.
The use of technology also allows the restaurant to offer more expensive wagyu beef blends “at price points competitive with other premium burgers using standard meat,” per the press release. Its menu consists of burgers, cheeseburgers and french fries. An online menu has its hamburgers priced at $7, cheeseburgers at $8 and french fries at $4.50.
The financial savings and streamlined operations offered by robotic makelines are making them popular among U.S. restaurant chains. Remy Robotics opened a bot-run “Better Days” kitchen in New York City over the summer that can cook hundreds of menu items in a 200-square-foot space. Sweetgreen opened its first automated kitchen this year and plans to accelerate the deployment of the technology in 2024. Chipotle is in the process of testing an automated makeline with Hyphen.
“AI-powered, robotic order-taking and cooking enables the major chains that feed America to substantially improve quality, consistency and speed,” Rich Hull, CEO of Miso Robotics, said in a statement.
The location will also provide a “pseudo-museum” experience with Miso Robotics equipment on display, including “dancing robotic arms from retired Flippy units, experiential 3D-printed artifacts from past development” and photo displays.
The restaurant, which is at 561 E. Green Street, is opening with reservations initially but will have a grand opening to follow. The company didn’t respond to questions, including queries about the staffing levels and the possibility of additional locations, by press time.