Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by SPN Editor
The dawn of a new era in the restaurant industry is upon us with the imminent launch of the world’s first AI restaurant, where robots and artificial intelligence (AI) handle everything from taking orders to cooking food. This revolutionary establishment, known as CaliExpress, is set to open its doors in Pasadena, California, USA.
Imagine a day when you’re craving a burger and fries, but the thought of leaving your home and interacting with another human being seems too daunting. CaliExpress is the perfect solution for such days, as it is entirely run by robots.
Stepping into AI restaurant CaliExpress might feel like you’ve been transported into an episode of Black Mirror. Here, ‘BurgerBot’ and ‘Flippy’, creations of Miso Robotics, will be your chefs. These robotic systems, equipped with arms and sensors, will cook your food upon request.
Flippy, as described on Miso Robotics’ website, is a revolutionary commercial kitchen robot that can fry a variety of items, from french fries to chicken nuggets. It works alongside humans to improve quality and consistency, while also providing significant cost savings for restaurants.
The high-tech experience at AI restaurant CaliExpress doesn’t end with robots. Customers can place their orders via PopID stations. By setting up a profile at one of these stations, your picture, loyalty, and payment information are stored, enabling you to order just by showing your face.
CaliExpress doesn’t compromise on its food offerings either. The menu includes options like Wagyu beef burgers. The creator of AI restaurant Miso Robotics believes that by having robots take over fast food jobs, workers will be protected from the hazards associated with fast food fryers and hot oil, as reported by Forbes.
The use of robots and AI also reduces costs for the restaurant, as there are no worker salaries to pay. This makes it more feasible for AI restaurant CaliExpress to offer high-quality products like Wagyu beef.
The CEO of PopID and a board member of Miso Robotics told ABC 7, “The integration of these various technologies to create the world’s most AI restaurant is the result of years of research, development, and investment in a group of innovative companies.”
For those worried about the robots turning against customers, Alana Abbitt, Vice President of Product Development at Miso Robotics, reassures, “It’s not a Terminator, it’s not Transformers. It’s a very friendly, helpful robot. We’re trying to make robotics a part of daily life, just like Roombas and other household robots.”
While robots run the show, there will still be some humans on-site to pack the food and provide a friendly face to customers. Although CaliExpress was initially set to open this month, a spokesperson confirmed to Forbes that the restaurant will be ‘opening soon’.
Other Establishments Using Robots and AI in Restaurants
Before the creation of fully automatic AI Restaurants, several business establishments have been using Robots and AI in the restaurant industry.
Creator in San Francisco, California, has a machine that manages the entire burger-making process. This includes grinding the beef, frying the patties, toasting the buns, dispensing the condiments, and assembling the burgers.
Wilkinson Baking Company located in Walla Walla, Washington, has revolutionized the bread-making process with their BreadBot. This automated system blends, prepares, and cooks the dough, providing freshly baked bread with minimal human intervention.
Miso Robotics, the company that created Flippy, designs robots to automate various kitchen operations. These robots can perform a variety of tasks, from flipping burgers to frying foods, enhancing efficiency and consistency in the kitchen.
YO! Sushi, a Japanese restaurant chain with locations in the UK, US, and Australia, employs robot servers. These robots travel along a conveyor belt, delivering sushi to guests, and providing a unique dining experience.
Several fast-food chains, including White Castle, McDonald’s, Checkers & Rally’s, Wendy’s, CKE Restaurants (which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s), Del Taco, Panera, and Sonic, are replacing human workers with chatbots in their drive-thru lanes. These AI-powered chatbots can take orders, answer queries, and provide customer service.
Chipotle and Domino’s have deployed conversational bots for taking orders. These bots can understand and respond to customer requests, making the ordering process more efficient and user-friendly.