White Castle is adding 10 more Flippy Roars to its roster, Miso Robotics announced today. The expanded order for more Flippy robots comes after a successful pilot at one White Castle location that was announced this past July.
Through a combination of robotics, computer vision and AI, Miso’s Flippy ROAR can operate both grills to cook hamburgers as well as fry stations. The entire system is suspended on rails from above, and White Castle had been using Flippy as a fry cook. According to today’s press announcement, Flippy made an average of 360 baskets of fried food per day during its pilot with White Castle, with a total of roughly 14,580 lbs. of food and more than 9,720 baskets made.
In addition to Flippy making food in a more contactless fashion, something consumers are more aware of than ever during this pandemic, Flippy also creates more social distance among employees in the kitchen, and frees workers up to pay more attention to order fulfillment and delivery. Today’s press release noted that White Castle is open 24 hours a day, which creates its own set of staffing challenges, with late night shifts harder to fill. Because it’s a robot, Flippy can work around the clock without needing a break (or calling in sick).
White Castle’s Flippy expansion comes less than a month after Miso announced the general commercial availability of its robot. In addition to wider availability, Miso is hoping to attract new customers beyond large QSRs with its new financing option, which eliminated the $30,000 up front cost and replaced it with a $2,000 a month subscription.
The pandemic has helped accelerate interest in food robotics, and we’ve seen a flurry of activity even just this month. KFC Korea partnered with Hyundai to develop fried chicken making robots. Walmart added a Blendid smoothie making robot to one of its stores. And Costa Coffee officially took over Briggo and its automated coffee kiosks.
White Castle did not disclose where its new Flippy robots will be located, only saying they will be delpoyed in 2021. For Miso, this new contract — and, by extension, this vote of confidence in its technology — could also help boost the company’s equity crowdfunding efforts. The company is looking to raise a $30 million Series through SeedInvest, and to date has only raised a little more than $9 million.