Customers driving through or picking up their orders from Caliburger in Pasadena will soon be “paying with their faces,” instead of using credit cards or cash, both of which could carry pathogens and complicate the problems authorities are now facing as they strive to contain the coronavirus.
Cali Group, which owns Caliburger, said Tuesday they will be deploying new technology tools – including using PopPay, a face-recognition enabled pay service – in their restaurants to fight the spread of viruses like COVID-19.
The new tools will initially be implemented in Caliburger’s store in Pasadena, the company said in a statement. The store is located at 245 E. Green Street.
“Cali Group is focusing its resources on new tools for the restaurant and retail industries to survive the current crisis,” John Miller, Cali Group’s Chairman, said. “Our portfolio of companies offer various solutions for food production, delivery, take out, and drive thru.”
The new systems that will be in place in the Pasadena store include entry screening, where devices attached to the doors will measure the body temperatures of restaurant staff, delivery drivers, and guests as the store opens for take-out and delivery; contactless ordering and payment using PopPay which enables payment without any contact with a touch panel; and increased kitchen automation, where AI-driven robots, such as Flippy – the burger-flipping robot made by Pasadena-based Miso Robotics – will automate food preparation and reduce the amount of human contact with food.
With entry screening, anyone who registers a fever on the device sensor will not be allowed entry into the restaurant. During the hours when the store is not open for take-out and delivery, restaurant staff can also opt to use the facial recognition system built into the device at the same moment as the fever scan to unlock the door in a single step.
Caliburger’s statement said the technology could be applied to other buildings such as retail stores, offices, and homes. Wider adoption of the system could also serve to identify hot spots and spikes in the spread of COVID-19 and other transmissible viruses.
For the contactless ordering and payment tool, customers may need to register for PopPay through www.popid.com to be able to use their faces to complete orders. Caliburger said they’re installing new payment terminals in-store. Customers can also order and pay using PopPay on the CaliBurger web site, www.caliburger.com.
On using AI-driven robots, Caliburger said they have demonstrated how Flippy can be used to reliably automate both the grill station and fry station, resulting in less employee turnover, increased productivity, and greater food consistency.
“Miso’s platform is a path to substantially reduce pathogen contamination in food,” Buck Jordan, CEO of Miso Robotics, said. “By automating tasks such as frying and grilling, Flippy can give operators and consumers confidence that their food is being prepared in a more sterile environment.”
Following Pasadena, CaliBurger intends to implement these technologies in all of its restaurants, the statement said.