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National Restaurant Association - 3 reasons you may be using robots in your restaurant

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3 reasons you may be using robots in your restaurant

Will robots prepare your guests’ food in the future? If Deepak Sekar has his way, the answer is yes.

A mechanical engineer by trade, the founder of San Francisco-based Casabots, plans to roll out “Sally,” the industry’s first salad-making robot, before year-end.

Sekar, who will speak at our Restaurant Innovation Summit, Sept. 13-15, in Austin, Texas, will discuss the role of robots in foodservice.

According to Sekar, his robot can help ensure more consistency in some back-of-house responsibilities, like cutting and chopping fruits and veggies. He also says robots can increase food safety.

Here’s why Sekar thinks robots could be part of restaurants’ next-generation workforce:

  1. Robots can be “perfect.” Sally automates salad-making in a customized, clean and safe way, says Sekar. Since human hands don’t touch the food, there’s less chance for foodborne illness to occur, he claims. He notes his robot can be programmed to prepare a 300-calorie salad or something more decadent on request.
  2. Robots can reduce prep time. Once a customer programs the robot to make his or her salad, prep time is about 40 to 50 seconds, he says. It takes approximately 2 minutes for Sally’s human counterpart to make a salad.
  3. Robots won’t replace employees; she’ll complement them. According to Sekar, good restaurants 10 years from now will have humans and robots working side by side. “Robots won’t eliminate all human jobs because humans are good at certain things robots are not. For example, robots wouldn’t be good servers; they don’t have the human touch. Robots will be good for doing more menial tasks.”

Sekar says robots will become increasingly affordable over time. He plans to roll his model out to cafeterias at corporate cafeterias first and will then target restaurant and hotel locations. The robot will be available for rent at a fixed, monthly amount.

Get wired and weird. Register for the Restaurant Innovation Summit to talk marketing and tech in Austin.

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