The robots are coming! (To a burger joint near you. Maybe.)
Do me a favor and have a look at this picture of a burger:
OK, so the bun is a bit burnt, but the rest of it looks pretty good. At least you can tell it’s a burger.
And would you believe a robot made it? It’s true.
That burger was slapped together by Smart Restaurant. Created by Momentum Machines, the Smart Restaurant is a robot (essentially) that can make up to 360 gourmet burgers an hour, including custom meat grinds.
It cooks the meat, it slices the veggies, it puts it all together, and it even bags it. If the Smart Restaurant is the beginning of Skynet, then it’ll be a delicious start.
But, more seriously (and the entire point of this blog post) is the impact this could have on the fast food industry. When businesses are always looking at the bottom line, and during a time where wage strikes are becoming more common, the Smart Restaurant seems like a CEO’s dream come true.
Momentum Machine’s site touts that the Smart Restaurant “frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant*,” “does everything employees can do except better**,” is “more consistent, more sanitary***” and the “labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better****.”
With that kind of back patting, I’m surprised the creators don’t claim “and it’ll never demand a living wage!” even if it basically said it makes human burger makers obsolete.
The only problem? We’re going to want fries with that.
* So go ahead and lay all of them off.
** No, seriously: Let ‘em all go.
*** They’re dirty and sloppy anyway.
**** Or, don’t spend more on better ingredients, whatevs. It’ll just cut into your potential profit.