Out of all the burger restaurants you could work for, Creator in San Francisco seems like it would be a good choice. First, the burgers there are made by a robot, so duh, awesome. But while a robot may be the center of attention, it’s actually the humans that Creator CEO Alex Vardakostas seems to care the most about.
Vardakostas was on stage at our recent ArticulATE conference, where he explained that Creator’s mission is to create the most human-centric dining experience. Ironically, a giant robot helps them do just that. First, diners can enjoy a nice meal with friends at a fair price ($6 for a burger) in a well-appointed restaurant (with, admittedly, severely restricted open hours).
But using a robot to cook the burgers, Vardakostas also hopes to help free up the creativity of his human employees. With the monotonous “burger flipping” done by the robot, employees can provide better customer service and spend time in more creative ways.
But Varakostas and Co. take it one step further. Creator gives all their employees 5% time. This paid time is for employees to learn about whatever they want. Some take the opportunity to take online classes, or learn console code used on the robot, or study flavors in the hopes of opening up their own restaurant one day. Vardakostas doesn’t want Creator to be a dead-end job where you do the same thing for ten years; he understands that he’s equipping his employees to move on to other, better opportunities. Hopefully it’s something other restaurants implementing robots will learn from.
Be on the lookout for even more food robot-related videos from our ArticulATE conference here on The Spoon!
*An earlier version of this post said Creator staff were freed up to do social media campaigns. Creator reached out to say that restaurant staff do not engage in social media campaigns.