One hundred White Castles are getting a new employee who never needs a break and is totally plugged into its new work environment — quite literally.
“Flippy2” is a robot fry cook that, according to White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson, is a dream employee.
“Flippy will drop everything into the fryer and then at the perfect time, take everything out, give it a little shake, and put it into the area for the packaging for the team members,” Richardson told Fox & Friends.
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The robot-fry-guy is the handiwork of Miso Robotics, which built the agile machine to take over the hot and sometimes hazardous work of running an entire fry station.
“The improved workflow allows for the redeployment of team members to focus on creating memorable moments for customers,” says the company in a press release.
Here’s a look a Flippy2 in action:
Prices start at $3,000 a month for Flippy2 to be integrated into a restaurant’s kitchen, and Miso also makes a version that is specially designed for wings. Other chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, and Chipotle have invested in robot workers from Miso Robotics to in effort solve cost and worker-retention problems.
Richardson stressed in his interview that Flippy2 is not a replacement for human workers, but an extremely useful tool. He explained to Fox News that adopting new technology at White Castle is all about “helping our team members and being empowering.”
“Nobody wants to use the ‘p’ word, but the pandemic was a kick in the knees for all of us,” Richardson added. “Our team members are on the front lines every day. Giving them more tools to help serve our customers hot and tasty food is what it’s all about for us.”
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In an interview with Modern Restaurant Management, Jake Brewer, Miso’s Chief Strategy Officer, echoes that reasoning.
“Across the U.S., restaurants are operating with 2.8 fewer employees in the front-of-house and 6.2 fewer employees in the back-of-house — something that’s making meeting customer service expectations and revenue targets almost impossible,” Brewer said.
“Our technology streamlines operations, provides a better customer experience, and establishes an overall improvement and stability to the business,” he added.
Hey human workers, want some fries with those promises?