White Castle®, the country’s first fast-food hamburger chain, announced today a planned pilot with Miso Robotics – creators of the first autonomous grilling and frying kitchen assistant, Flippy – to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics in the restaurant industry. As part of the deployment, White Castle will bring the new version of Flippy, Robot-on-a-Rail (ROAR), into kitchens for testing and future integration. The deployment will put autonomous frying to work for enhanced production speeds, improved labor allocation and an added layer of health and safety in the cooking process. Committed to delivering the best customer dining experience, White Castle’s selection of Miso Robotics marks a move by the pioneering chain to modernize operations for even faster, fresher and delicious meals, every time.
Like many sectors, the restaurant industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and has been forced to reexamine business operations and best practices. Through the adoption of innovative and forward-looking technologies – like robotics automation and artificial intelligence – restaurants can build a future focused kitchen that reassures customers of the best standards in food preparation. White Castle’s decision to pilot Flippy in the kitchen creates an avenue for reduced human contact with food during the cooking process – reducing potential for transmission of food pathogens. The implementation also brings intelligence to cooking, tapping into sensors, intelligent monitoring and anticipated kitchen needs to keep food temperatures consistent, that ensure optimal quality and a perfect bite for customers. With Flippy in the kitchen automating repetitive, time consuming and dangerous tasks like frying, team members can be redeployed to more customer-experience driven tasks.
“White Castle is an industry innovator, and we take a great amount of pride in our history – never forgetting about the future ahead,” said Lisa Ingram, 4th generation family leader and CEO of White Castle. “With 100 years of quick service success, the time has never been more perfect to envision what the next century of White Castle and the restaurant industry looks like. Miso Robotics understood where we could improve and stay true to White Castle’s brand of taste, innovation and best-in-class dining. A great customer and employee experience is in our DNA, and we are thrilled to bring the future into our kitchen with solutions that will transform the industry and make the White Castle experience all that it can be for generations to come.”
Founded in 1921, White Castle became the first fast food restaurant. Throughout its nearly 100-year history, White Castle created the framework for the modern QSR business model and reinvented the restaurant experience. As the company approaches its centennial anniversary, it Flippy ROAR’s deployment commemorates another historic moment in the chain.
“Miso Robotics couldn’t be more excited to bring Flippy ROAR into White Castle,” said Buck Jordan, CEO and Co-Founder of Miso Robotics. “Artificial intelligence and robotics brings a very real opportunity to continuously enhance the cooking process and optimize taste for restaurants. White Castle’s brand is iconic, navigating new challenges to bring their menu to more customers, prepared in a healthier environment by staff in better working conditions that adhere to social distancing needs is something only Miso Robotics can do. We look forward to being a part of White Castle’s next 100 years.”
Flippy ROAR will deploy later this fall. The deployment will test speeds in production, taste, quality and operational optimization with backend POS integration. Following integration, Flippy ROAR’s zero-footprint design will be tested to improve employee and food preparation, for wider location integration.