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World’s First Fully Autonomous AI-Powered Restaurant to Open in Pasadena

Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | 6:38 am

A Pasadena company which became famous pioneering robotic fast food chefs has announced it intends to open the world’s first artificial intelligence powered fully autonomous restaurant, here in Pasadena.

The Cali Group is a Pasadena-based holding company leveraging technology to reshape the restaurant and retail sectors. The Group announced Tuesday it is partnering with Miso Robotics and PopID, both also based in Pasadena, to launch  a ‘CaliExpress by Flippy’ restaurant.

Employing cutting-edge systems in food technology, both grill and fry stations at CaliExpress by Flippy will boast complete automation, driven by state-of-the-art proprietary artificial intelligence and robotics. 

Guests will use PopID accounts at self-ordering kiosks – and then witness their meals being “meticulously prepared by robotic chefs,” a Cali Group statement said. 

The new CaliExpress by Flippy restaurant strategically resides in a premium retail locale in downtown Pasadena, at the northwest intersection of Green Street and Madison Avenue at 561 E. Green St.

Using these technological advancements, will serve freshly crafted burgers featuring a wagyu blend at competitive prices, rivaling other premium burgers using conventional meat, according to the Group’s statement.

Uniquely, the grill robot grinds high-quality beef in real-time post-order placement, resulting in a mouthwatering burger patty. Flippy, the renowned robotic fry station, ensures crispy hot fries made from top-grade potatoes, cooked to precision. The menu, straightforward yet enticing, comprises burgers, cheeseburgers, and french fries.

For employees, these technologies foster a safer, more straightforward, and more amicable kitchen environment, the statement continued. At the fry station, Flippy introduces revolutionary safety breakthroughs, nearly eliminating slippage and burns, as well as reducing waste in both food and oil. 

The statement said the CaliExpress by Flippy kitchen can be efficiently managed by a smaller crew, offering a less stressful atmosphere compared to competing restaurants while ensuring above-average wages.

“To our knowledge, this is the world’s first operating restaurant where both ordering and every single cooking process are fully automated,” John Miller, PopID CEO and board member of Miso Robotics, said. “The marriage of these various technologies to create the most autonomous restaurant in the world is the culmination of years of research, development, and investment in a family of revolutionary companies.”

The Pasadena CaliExpress by Flippy location is designed to be a pseudo-museum experience, and the company is encouraging local schools and educational groups to arrange tours early. 

“AI-powered robotic order-taking and cooking enable major chains that feed America to substantially improve quality, consistency, and speed,” Rich Hull, CEO of Miso Robotics, said. “Miso is proud to partner with Cali Group and PopID to make CaliExpress by Flippy a reality. Flippy has been an incredible success story, and now everyone in Southern California can come take a look — and a taste — for themselves.”

CaliExpress by Flippy is slated to open this month by reservation only, with a grand opening to follow. 

To book a reservation, sign up for special offers, and access tour information, visit

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