Creator, world’s first burger restaurant operated by robots, has opened its doors to the public in SoMa, San Francisco. Selling their mains at the very ‘democratic’ cost of $6, they are making their highly sophisticated, robot-made dining experience affordable for everyone.
In San Francisco, there’s a new kid on the bloc. Although, it’s not really a kid. Or better, it’s not even human. Culinary robotics firm Creator have launched the world’s first robot-made burger restaurant, where human staff and robots are working side by side to deliver the most peculiar burger experience in town. All for the very affordable price of $6.
Set up in SoMa by Alex Vardakostas in June 2018 (at first on a ticketing basis only and now open to walk-in customers), this robot-operated burger restaurant surely is one of a kind. And not only for its hi-tech approach to food and cooking, but especially for its vision to cut down prices and make innovative dining experiences available to all.
Creator hosts two robots in its SoMa premises–14-foot burger machines comprised of 350 sensors and 20 in-built computers. The robots only need five minutes in total to create a burger from scratch–cooking, assembling, and all.
The machines are all-in-one burger-making devices designed to accomplish every part of the process–from slicing and toasting the buns to grinding the meat and assembling the final burger.
The robots are not just very remarkable pieces of technology (developed over an eight-year time period by scientists who cut their theet at world-leading firms the likes of Apple and Tesla), but they also promote a ‘food-centric’ approach, with a strong focus on improving the quality of the products they create.
So, are robots replacing humans? The answer is no.
Even if the machines attend to most of the cooking tasks, the human element is always present, ensuring that the dining experience maintains its good old ‘human feel’. Non-robot staff are present at all times and carry out duties such as taking orders from customers, preparing sauces and salads, delivering burgers and drinks, and looking after the machines (from refilling and stocking to dealing with missing orders and technical issues).
The human and technological elements seem to have found the perfect balance at Creator–one helping out the other and both making their respective lives much, much easier.
But this very successful blending of tech and human experience goes even further: human staff are equipped with the latest Apple devices where they can take their orders, and get instant notifications every time there’s a glitch in one of the robots, so that they can ensure the process is smooth at all times.
Simple, essential, minimalist (BMW‘s Per Selvaag was involved in the design of the space), Creator’s aim is to be modern but not aseptic, basic but welcoming. The aim is for the food to be protagonist–all eyes need to be on the plate, not the space.
The game of glasses and transparencies in the robots’ design also ensures that it’s possible to see at all stages what ingredients are put into the machine and how the devices create the food.
“Our mission is to reduce the cost of high-quality food so we’re selling burgers for six bucks. Let’s break the normal cost equation for restaurants.” – Creator.rest
It’s not just Creator’s concept itself that is intriguing (robots and smart devices have been part of the food-tech and hospitality sector for a while now). What makes it peculiar, and possibily even revolutionary, is the fact that costs are cut down so unashamedly and prices are made so affordable, while the food experience remains–quite literally–‘extra-ordinary‘.
Despite Creator using high-quality, locally-sourced (hence costly) ingredients for its burgers and salads, they are still able to offer ‘democratic’ prices and reach a wider consumers’ base. This is not just because the use of robots enables to cut down on salaries, but also because the smart systems used restaurant-wide allow to reduce energy use and food waste.