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Robots Shake Up California’s Culinary Scene

In a suburb not far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, a restaurant named CaliExpress in Pasadena, California, is making waves with its innovative use of AI and robots in the kitchen. The owner proudly boasts that it’s the first time such advanced technology has been consolidated in one place.

Robots Shake Up California's Culinary Scene
Robots Shake Up California’s Culinary Scene

The heart of this pioneering setup lies in two main robotic chefs: Flippy, a creation by Miso Robotics adept at frying tasks, and a grill robot by Cucina. With Flippy churning out an impressive 250 pounds of French fries per hour and the grill robot handling about 100 patties within the same timeframe, these machines operate tirelessly without needing breaks or days off.

The introduction of these robot chefs comes as a solution to address current labor shortages and safety concerns in the food industry. The owner highlights that automation helps mitigate risks associated with dangerous jobs like frying and grilling while significantly reducing staffing needs.

Additionally, CaliExpress employs artificial intelligence for its ordering system, powered by facial recognition software from Pop ID, to streamline the customer experience. Despite this technological revolution, human touch remains essential, as only two back-of-house employees are required to add final touches to meals—a fraction compared to traditional non-automated kitchens.

Robots Shake Up California's Culinary Scene
Robots Shake Up California’s Culinary Scene

With impending wage hikes for fast-food workers looming around $20 per hour in California, businesses like CaliExpress see automation as an opportunity to optimize operational efficiency while creating new job opportunities related to maintaining advanced technology systems.

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