Miso Robotics today announced the commercial availability of its cooking bot, Flippy Robot on a Rail (ROAR). The company also announced that it is working with TimePayment so restaurants interested in adding Flippy to their kitchens can do so with no upfront cost.
Introduced earlier this year, ROAR literally flipped Flippy upside down. Earlier versions of Flippy were installed on the floor of a kitchen, but the redesign inverted that set up, suspending Flippy on rails above ground, thus adding more mobility and freeing up room for human co-workers.
Flippy ROAR has actually already been hard at work in a pilot program at a Chicago-area White Castle since July, and with today’s announcement Miso is looking to expand its footprint to even more QSRs and beyond.
“We really want to drive Miso to serving mom and pops,” Buck Jordan, President and Chairman, Miso Robotics told me by phone this week, adding that the company has received a lot of inbound interest from restaurants of all sizes. “Now it’s easier,” he said.
It’s easier because Miso isn’t charging $30,000 upfront for Flippy any longer. Through TimePayment’s financing options, restaurants of any size can get their own Flippy for $2,000 a month, which includes the setup maintenance and software.
Still, $2,000 is still a lot for an industry that operates on thin margins, especially when those margins are more uncertain than ever. With the COVID pandemic closing many dine-in options, restaurants have had to rely on delivery. But third party delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats can charge high commission fees that severely eat into any profits a restaurant might see from delivery.
Jordan said the Flippy can help improve the food delivery experience for restaurants. Flippy’s software now integrates with a restaurant’s ordering platform to help process incoming delivery orders from different third party delivery services. So if a restaurant gets orders at various times from DoorDash, Uber Eats and GrubHub, Flippy’s software can look at when orders come in and pickup ETAs to coordinate cook times for each part of each order. The result is that food doesn’t sit for a long period of time under a heat lamp, waiting for the delivery driver, which should result in fresher food for the end customer.
Flippy could also have the ability to alter the labor economics of a restaurant. Yes, $2,000 isn’t cheap, but a robot can work around the clock, won’t get sick, and has the ability to help create more social distance in the kitchen. If a robot can take over the repetitive and sometimes dangerous tasks of operating the grill and fry stations, restaurants might be able to shift human labor to more higher skilled jobs.
In addition to smart cooking workflows, Flippy is now able to learn how to cook more foods faster. Jordan said that it takes roughly a day of data crunching for it to learn to cook a new item. One such new item Flippy added to its roster is the plant-based Impossible Burgers.
Miso’s announcement comes while the company is in the midst of running its equity crowdfunding campaign. The company has so far raised more than $7.8 million from investors so far.