• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - The future is now: 3 robots at the NRA Show

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

News RSS

The future is now: 3 robots at the NRA Show

Robots are among us. And they’re not just for the back of the house anymore. Automation can enhance food safety, efficiency and consistency and allows guests to easily customize meals. Here are three automation innovations from the NRA Show:

Speeds up sushi-making

Suzumo International has found a way to literally bring fresh sushi to the masses. The traditional process for making maki or hand rolls and nigiri is labor-intensive and time consuming, but the Japanese company changes that, says Simon Kim, a representative for the company’s Canadian distributor. One robot makes 3,600 pieces of nigiri an hour; another makes 1,800. The company also offers an automated roll machine, roll cutter, rice sheet maker and sushi rice mixer.

Fry cook

Is automation in the kitchen the future of foodservice? Kitchen equipment manufacturers Middleby Corp. and Pitco think so. They’ve teamed up with Rethink Robotics to create foodservice’s first automated “employee,” which they showed off at this year’s NRA Show. The robotic “employee” can cook a batch of French fries as easily and quickly as any line cook. Why companies are thinking about “hiring” the robot: Wage issues, liability costs and turnover, says Middleby engineer Randy Burt. What does that mean for the average restaurant? $30,000 for 35,500 hours of constant repeatability and a more than five-year life span.

Salad customization

Meet Sally, a vending-machine-style robot that allows guests to customize salads in less space than a salad bar. The counter-top model contains ingredients for 50 salads in a refrigerated compartment. Guests select their preferred ingredients and the salad drops into a bowl, similar to a drink or ice cream machine. The benefits? Operators can offer hundreds of salads vs. four or five without risk of cross-contamination. “Millennials love customizable food,” says Casabots CEO Deepak Sekar. “Robots have been used for making food for the last 20 years in big factories,” he says. “We’ve taken the huge robots and made them smaller in size so every restaurant can have one.”

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

New report

Spot Ad right

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156