“To our knowledge, this is the world’s first operating restaurant where both ordering and every single cooking process are fully automated”
CaliExpress is a burger joint in Pasadena with a unique staff. Instead of people flipping burgers, it’s burgers and fries are made by a robot called Flippy from Miso Robotic’s, and uses PopID, a biometrics powered technology company, to place orders. In short, robots run the place. They claim its safer since no humans risk oil burns or spills, stressful jobs are reduced, and those running the systems make much higher wages.
The location also has displays on the Flippy robot development timeline, including robotic arms used on retired Flippy models, photographic displays, and 3-D printed artifacts from its development.
The group encourages local schools to come for tours as the location shows the Flippy development timeline, including early robotic arms once used, photographic displays, and 3-D printed artifacts. The goal is to inspire future AI and automation development.
Now, if you combine that technology with experiences like Inamo in London…I think you have an amazing restaurant that can almost literally just run itself.
This kind of automation shouldn’t be a surprise. California passed a bill that requires chain restaurants to pay $20/hour minimum wage starting April 2024, so it’s no wonder restaurants are now finding automating jobs is cheaper than paying employees.
If the goal was to make more living wage jobs, it’s doing exactly this by removing low-skilled burger flipping and hospitality jobs and replacing them with tech workers. But this means that those burger flippers need to be able to take those robot repair jobs. That’s not something all of them can do. It is another in a long line of examples of how well meaning but short-sighted legislators actual may be working against their lowest-skill constituents because they don’t think about the long term consequences.
Or, it could be what they intended – which is making the divide between rich and poor even greater as low-skill workers jobs are being replaced with high-skill jobs they may not be able to do.