After a successful pilot program, White Castle restaurant chain is partnering with Pasadena-based Miso Robotics to use that company’s robotic fry cook at 10 locations.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In July, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the country, White Castle officials realized the need to protect staff and the public while keeping up cooking speeds. Flippy, Miso Robotics’ fry cook, offered a solution.
There are more than 420 White Castle outlets, predominantly located in the Midwest, Kentucky, and Tennessee, according to statista.com. There are a number of outlets in the New York metropolitan region, three locations in Nevada, two in Arizona, and two in Shanghai, but none in California.
The move accelerates the adoption of Miso Robotics’ newly designed Flippy robot into kitchens to speed up production and allow more staff to work in the front of the house to service customers, White Castle officials said in a prepared statement, reported techcrunch.com.
“Artificial intelligence and automation have been an area White Castle has wanted to experiment with to optimize our operations and provide a better work environment for our team members,” said White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram
“This pilot is putting us on that path – and we couldn’t be more pleased to continue our work with Miso Robotics and pave the way for greater adoption of cutting-edge technology in the fast-food industry,” Ingram said in the statement.
The robots have been particularly useful during late-night shifts, when employees don’t want to work at making the little square burgers known as “sliders,” but many of White Castle’s target customers are eager to grab some eats, according to the statement from the company. Flippy robots can prepare up to 360 baskets of fried foods a day.
All told, the company’s robot handled approximately 14,580 lbs. of food and over 9,720 baskets since the pilot program was initiated in late September, according to the statement.