Fully autonomous restaurant opens in California

  • December 11, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

What is said to be the world’s first fully-autonomous AI-powered restaurant is opening this month in California.

Both grill and fry stations are fully automated, powered by proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Diners can watch their food being cooked robotically after checking in with their PopID accounts on self-ordering kiosks to get personalised order recommendations and make easy and fast payments.

PopID is a technology company simplifying ordering and payments using biometrics.

Cali Group (thecaligroup.com), a holding company using technology to transform the restaurant and retail industries, and Miso Robotics, creator of the Flippy AI-powered robotic fry station, are opening CaliExpress by Flippy in Pasadena, California, on the northwest corner of Green Street and Madison Avenue.

These various technologies will enable CaliExpress by Flippy to deliver freshly made burgers based on a wagyu blend at price points competitive with other premium burgers using standard meat. The grill robot grinds the high-quality beef in real-time after the order is placed, resulting in a burger patty that is said to melt in the mouth.

Flippy will serve crispy, hot fries made from top grade potatoes that are always cooked to exact times. The menu is simple, comprising burgers, cheeseburgers and French fries.

For employees, these technologies should create a safer, easier and friendlier kitchen. At the fry station, Flippy represents breakthroughs in safety as slippage and burns can be nearly eliminated, as well as in waste reduction in both food and oil. The kitchen can be run by a smaller crew, in a less stressful environment, while also providing above average wages.

“To our knowledge, this is the world’s first operating restaurant where both ordering and every single cooking process are fully automated,” said John Miller, CEO of PopID and board member of Miso Robotics. “The marriage of these various technologies to create the most autonomous restaurant in the world is the culmination of years of research, development and investment in a family of revolutionary companies.”

The CaliExpress by Flippy (misorobotics.com/CaliExpress) location will also be a pseudo-museum experience presented by Miso Robotics. Including dancing robot arms from retired Flippy units, experimental 3D-printed artefacts from past development and photographic displays, the space is designed to serve noteworthy food, plus inspire the kitchen AI and automation entrepreneurs. Local schools and educational groups are encouraged to reach out for tours.

“AI-powered, robotic order-taking and cooking enables the major chains that feed America to substantially improve quality, consistency and speed,” said Rich Hull, CEO of Miso Robotics (misorobotics.com). “Miso is proud to partner with Cali Group and PopID to make CaliExpress by Flippy a reality. Flippy has been an incredible success story and now everyone in southern California can come take a look – and a taste – for themselves.”

Miso’s AI-driven platform incorporates robotics, machine learning, computer vision and data analytics to power and develop its products, including Flippy.

PopID (www.popid.com) provides a platform for digital interactions and payments using consumer-initiated biometric verification. Its platform gives consumers the option of identifying themselves quickly and easily with their face or palm for checking in, earning loyalty, ordering and making payments.