The robots are coming for your salads. Quick-service salad chain Sweetgreen has purchased an automated kitchen company called Spyce, which has two fully functional locations in Boston where meals are assembled via robotic equipment and conveyor belts, all without the need for human hands. Now that the purchase is official, Sweetgreen plans to implement the Spyce system at its own restaurants, CNBC reports.
Sweetgreen says it hopes to use the technology to process customer orders more quickly while freeing employees to focus on prep work. In the end, I suspect that the move may still eliminate at least a few jobs at each location. Customer-wise, I wonder if it’ll be any fun to watch machines make your fancy salad? I bet it’s just an unceremonious plop-n-drop of ingredients with not a lot of finesse. Just give the robots faces, make them sing as they assemble, and you could have a really weird version of the already weird Chuck E. Cheese house band.
Robotic kitchens have always felt like a hallmark of the distant future, but I guess the time is now. We cover a lot of robot news at The Takeout, as the developments surrounding automated food service machinery seem to be accelerating. There’s that pizza vending machine in Rome, the Domino’s pizza robot in Houston, Sally the salad robot, and of course, Flippy at White Castle. Expect more in the future.
Interestingly, after a round of funding earlier this year, Sweetgreen’s valuation came out to a whopping $1.8 billion. With a company valued at that much, I’m sure it can and will put a sizable investment into the automated kitchen. CNBC predicts that the purchase of Spyce might make a future public Sweetgreen offering look more attractive to investors, especially considering the company filed for a confidential initial public offering in June. Either way, the future is here, and it’s dripping with Robosalads.