10 robots automating catering | 2021 trends

The automation revolution has started in the restaurant industry.

From making cocktails to flipping burgers, many food and beverage companies are starting to see the benefits of using robots to improve their productivity. The automation revolution has begun.

Sally, a salad mixer, mixes up to 8 fresh ingredients, vegetables and salmon in a compostable bowl in just 90 seconds. [credit: Chowbotics]

As technology advances and AI becomes more accessible, it’s no wonder that robots for the food industry are becoming more mainstream.

Restaurants and hotels can benefit from these automatic, intelligent and contactless robots. They can automate the food or beverage manufacturing process, save money and human resources, enrich menus, make fewer mistakes, reduce food waste, and work 24/7 without increment. Besides being pretty darn cool and bringing innovation to businesses, customer-facing robots can help reduce human contact, a big benefit in COVID-19.

Discover 10 of the latest innovations and robots for the F&B industry that will help you automate your business and take it to the next level.
Enjoy your lunch!

1. Sally by Chowbotics – salad mixer
Recently acquired by delivery startup DoorDash, Sally is a salad maker, mixing up to 8 fresh ingredients, from vegetables to salmon in a compostable bowl in just 90 seconds!
Besides providing a quick and fun experience for customers, Sally also helps fast food chains expand their menu and add healthier salads and options without hiring additional staff or changing anything in their kitchen.

2. Cecilia.ai – interactive bartender robot

Cecilia.ai, the robotic bartender [credit: Cecilia.ai]

Imagine if you could enhance your drink menu with premium cocktails automatically mixed by a friendly and entertaining bartender? Imagine no more. Cecilia.ai is a smart, interactive bartender that can be placed almost anywhere, serve mixed drinks in under 30 seconds, and give customers menu advice using AI and voice recognition .
This robotic (and super cool) bartender unit has a small footprint and could be easily set up and used as a main or additional bartender in hotels, casinos, and cruise ships.

3. Picnic – automatic pizza maker
Everyone loves pizza. It’s a fact like saying that the sun is setting in the west, that Jeff Bezos is rich, or that thePicnic pizza system will make the pizza much easier.
The entire process can be automated in this modular and customizable system, starting with spreading the sauce, topping it with cheese, then adding pepperoni and three other ingredients and baking the pizza.

Picnic can produce hundreds of pizzas per hour with a single operator, allowing the rest of the staff to take care of the rest of the food – not that you need it when pizza is on the menu.

The start recently raised $ 16.3 million and plans to install his robot in schools, stadiums and hospitals.

4. La Mini Boulangerie – automated bread machine
The Mini Bakery, built and designed by Wilkinson Baking Company, is a fully automated system for baking bread. It does all the mixing, shaping, leavening and baking, allowing the bread to be sold hot and fresh directly to customers, just like a vending machine. Mini Bakery can bake 10 loaves per hour, saving ingredients and shipping costs and giving Africa water for every loaf sold. Even though the system was designed for supermarkets, we see no reason why it couldn’t be used in restaurants or hotel kitchens.

The picnic pizza system [credit: Picnic]

5. Miso Robotics – robotic kitchen for fast food chains
The company behind Flippy, one of the industry’s most famous robotic kitchen assistants, who can flip burgers and make fries, letting human employees handle less risky and less greasy tasks.

The system includes the Miso Analytics platform, which provides in-depth information and improves the quality of food with cooking as defined. The company’s customers include CaliBurger and White Castle, where it turns over 10,000 burgers and fries over 12,000 baskets each month.

6. Kitchen robotics – robotic dark kitchen
An Israeli competitor in the robotic kitchen section is called, unsurprisingly, Kitchen Robotics. The startup, founded in 2018, has developed Beastro, a robot designed for “Dark Kitchens”. The Dark Kitchen, also known as Ghost Kitchens and Virtual Kitchens, is a kitchen space devoted exclusively to delivery-only restaurants, a trend that has seen a meteoric rise since the start of the global pandemic in 2020.

Beastro can be customized to automatically cook any type of dish, cook around 45 dishes per hour, collect analytics, and fully integrate with Cuismo, the company’s online restaurant and dark kitchen management software.

7. TrueBird – fully automated micro-café
While there are many (well, “a lot” is a relative term in this industry) of “old-fashioned” coffee robots and vending machines, TrueBird seeks to bring something new to the table. . The company has partnered with New York City Craft Breweries to bring customers high-quality coffee at a reasonable price, automatically made by a 20-square-foot kiosk that serves the mug using three small magnets.

While TrueBird’s primary business model is to open dozens of self-managed cafes in public spaces across the country, we see no reason why you shouldn’t set one up in your hotel or airport lounge.

Source: Truebird Coffee on Vimeo.

8. Robotic smile– plate collector robot

Flippy by Miso Robotics [credit: Miso Robotics]

Have you finished eating? It’s time to clean up and pick up the plates. ACUR-C from Japanese company Smile Robotics is an automatic robot for serving and collecting food in restaurants, clinics, retirement homes, hotels, etc. The robot moves autonomously between the tables, picks up the trays with its robotic arm and brings them back to the kitchen. We need it at home.

9. Solato– ice machine
Do you like ice cream? Based in Israel and Canada, this startup developed Solato, which resembles a Nespresso machine for ice cream, leading the evolution of ice cream making with the “smoothest, creamiest ice cream made fresh in an instant” .

This countertop appliance makes authentic artisan ice cream, fruit sorbets, frozen yogurt and iced coffee using biodegradable capsules, which can also be used as a serving bowl. Solato is ideal for small cafes and restaurants looking to enhance their menu with fresh ice cream without wasting space and money.

10. Milkit – milk on tap
Another innovation for the hospitality industry is Milkit, a patented milk tap solution that saves time, energy and money.

With its unique milk bag, the Milkit device pours precise amounts of milk, saves up to 4 seconds per cup of coffee and eliminates the need to store milk bags. In fact, this solution that you didn’t even think you needed before opening your own restaurant is already being used by several Israeli restaurants and hotels, as well as Starbucks in Germany. Milking indeed!

The rise of automation and robots for the food industry can seem daunting to those who believe that machines will eventually replace humans. However, it seems likely that we will still be around for a while. Most of these systems are still quite expensive and are intended to fill the gaps in the overall workforce (a major problem created by COVID-19) or to work alongside human employees so that they can focus on more complex tasks, either simply to serve as additional sources of income or as a tourist attraction.

We believe that we will see more and more robots and machines in restaurants and hotels, making delicious meals or making fantastic cocktails.
Innovation in the food industry is essential and will benefit both the company and the customers.


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Cecil N. Messick

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