The fast-food industry has a strong interest in automating kitchen functions. White Castle Management Co. yesterday said it plans to install Miso Robotics Inc.'s Flippy 2 frying robot in 100 standalone locations. The companies have been partners since they deployed the original model of Flippy in a Chicagoland White Castle. The hamburger chain said it saw “an immediate positive impact on daily operations and the productivity of its team members.”
“Our partnership with Miso continues to lead the way on what's next for back of house restaurant operations looking to empower team members with technology to better satisfy customers,” stated Jeff Carper, chief operating officer at White Castle.
Founded in 1921, White Castle claims to be “the world's first fast-food hamburger chain.” The Columbus, Ohio-based company owns and operates 350 restaurants and said that more than a quarter of its team members have worked for White Castle for at least 10 years.
White Castle phases in Flippy 2
Pasadena, Calif.-based Miso Robotics has combined machine learning, computer vision, data analytics, and robotics in Flippy, the CookRight grilling assistant, and the Sippy automated beverage dispenser. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company upgraded Flippy 2 in November 2021.
By taking over the work of an entire fry station, Flippy 2 is designed to help quick-service restaurants (QSRs) improve the environment for human workers and maximize kitchen efficiency. Miso said the system, offered through a robotics-as-a-service model (RaaS), can improve back-of-house workflows, allowing team members to be redeployed to customer-facing roles.
White Castle said it expects its partnership with Miso Robotics to yield improvements in efficiency, product quality, and team member and customer experiences. The companies said they are rolling out Flippy 2 in phases by region, planning and scheduling them for the coming months and years.
“We could not be more grateful for the confidence White Castle has shown in us as we enter into the next phase of our partnership,” said Mike Bell, CEO of Miso Robotics. “White Castle was the first large brand to embrace our technology and we are thrilled that our Flippy pilot made such a positive impact on their operations that they want to integrate 100 more.”
Miso Robotics continues fundraising
Miso Robotics is now accepting new investors for its Series E round. With more than 15,000 shareholders, the startup currently has a market valuation of $500 million.
“We’ve raised more than $50 million through equity crowdfunding in our Series C and D funding rounds, which has led to our workforce tripling in size over the past year,” Bell told Robotics 24/7. “On top of that, we’ve seen great traction in the marketplace through brand partnerships and, to use White Castle’s expansion as an example, have proven the immediate financial impact our technology has on our customer’s operations.”
“The significant interest we’ve seen from our brand partners, like White Castle, and individual investors is a testament to the pivotal role our technology plays in the restaurant industry,” he added. “The Series E round will propel us forward to install in more kitchens and further increase White Castle’s capabilities and positively impact their bottom line through automation.”
Miso is offering securities through the use of an offering statement that has been qualified by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under Tier II of Regulation A. A copy of the final offering circular that forms a part of the offering statement is available from Miso Robotics.