This Robot is Taking the Fast Food Industry by Storm!
Say Hello to Flippy 2!
The Flippy Series is a cooking robot line taking the restaurant industry by storm. Miso Robotics, whose name originates from the French saying “Everything in its place,” has developed the line of Flippy machines while picking up five patents along the way.
So why bring the Flippy line of robotics to market? Simple, Miso saw several issues within the kitchen setting. First, they viewed many of the repetitive tasks within the fast-food kitchen as taxing on humans. These menial jobs require the cook to do endlessly throughout their daily shift, like “Flipping” burgers and slinging fries. Miso aims to free up workers to provide more “human” services like face-to-face interactions with customers.
Next, Miso saw a need to fill the labor gap. There is an unprecedented and growing shortage of workers, as reported by the National Restaurant Association:
Despite some gains, 7 in 10 operators across all major segments say their restaurant currently does not have enough employees to support customer demand and most operators expect their labor challenges to continue through next year.
Third, Miso saw the need to remove the inherent danger. The use of a Flippy means the potential for “accidents” to be drastically reduced around a hot fryer or stove. Performing a repetitive job causes one to become complacent, whereas a machine just performs. Machines do not tire, get sick, or call in sick (unless needing repair). They are fast, efficient and most of all they are reliable.
Lastly, the use of a Flippy cuts down on the congestion within the kitchen. With the smaller footprint of Flippy 2, kitchen traffic is kept to a minimum.
The initial introduction saw the original Flippy as a fast addition to most kitchens which was both a blessing and a curse. Early complaints were heard about the machine needing too much handling with preparation and the finished food in the holding area. Essentially, there was too much “hand-holding” throughout the process. Flippy 2 solves these issues by introducing auto dispensers and bins. This new iteration includes basket filling, emptying, and return capabilities.
I wrote an article about White Castle (America’s First Fast Food Burger Joint), and it was recently announced they would be implementing Flippy 2’s at an additional 100 of their 350 total restaurants. This is one of the largest deployments of kitchen robotics taking place today. Their partnership with Miso began in 2020 to alleviate costs, improve efficiencies, ease the labor shortage and retain talent. Let’s not forget the marketing aspect, as I, for one, love to see robots in action!
Speaking with experience, I can see the need for such robots within the workplace. Also, looking on the other side, the human element is still needed to program and maintain this piece of machinery. The Flippy 2 does incorporate AI (Artificial Intelligence) and is continuously learning, but it is miles away from repairing itself or responding to a changing menu. Flippy 2 can concentrate on the “dirty jobs,” whereas we humans can shift our focus elsewhere. I can’t wait to see what Flippy 3 will be able to do.