Do not adjust your screen. Yes, the robots have landed and they are in fact making your burgers. But only in the tony Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena (for now).
This week Cali Group, a restaurant and retail tech holding company, Miso Robotics, the creator of Flippy (the AI-powered robotic fry station), and PopID, a tech company that enables ordering and payments utilizing biometrics, announced the opening of CaliExpress by Flippy, which they claim is the “the world's first fully autonomous restaurant.”
Both the grill and fry stations are fully automated and powered by artificial intelligence and robotics. Customers are able to actually watch their food cooked robotically after they check in the restaurant with a PopID account on self-ordering kiosks, upon which they will also get personalized order recommendations and are able to make payments.
"To our knowledge, this is the world's first operating restaurant where both ordering and every single cooking process are fully automated," said John Miller, CEO of PopID and board member of Miso Robotics, in the release.
CaliExpress by Flippy serves wagyu blend burgers at “price points competitive with other premium burgers using standard meat.” The grill robot grinds the meat fresh after each order is placed. Meanwhile Flippy “mans” the robotic fry station, ensuring fries are always cooked the exact specific time needed (as well as eliminating employee slippage and burns).
The CaliExpress kitchen can “be run by a much smaller crew, in a less stressful environment, than competing restaurants, while also providing above average wages,” the companies claim The full menu consists only of burgers, cheeseburgers and fries at this time.
"AI-powered, robotic order-taking and cooking enables the major chains … to substantially improve quality, consistency and speed," said Rich Hull, CEO of Miso Robotics in the release.
Miso Robotics has also crafted a “museum-like experience” in the restaurant itself, which features “retired Flippy” dancing robot arms, 3D-printed artifacts from past development and photographic displays, among other attractions.
Potential customers will need a reservation before the grand opening some time this month, which can be made here, along with sign-ups for special offers and bookings for a tour of the facilities.