Midwestern fast-food chain White Castle is outsourcing some of its jobs to robots.
The hamburger chain announced plans this week to install Miso Robotics' "Flippy 2" in 100 locations.
The Ohio-based chain has been experimenting with the robotic fry cook since September 2020, when the original "Flippy" was installed in a Chicago area restaurant. After upgrading to "Flippy 2" at the original test location in November 2021, White Castle decided to roll out a larger version of the program.
"By taking over the work of an entire fry station, Flippy 2 alleviates the pain points that come with back-of-house roles at quick-service restaurants to create a working environment for its human coworkers that maximizes the efficiency of the kitchen," Miso Robotics said in a statement. "The improved workflow allows for the redeployment of team members to focus on creating memorable moments for customers."
Miso Robotics said the rollout of the machines is being phased by region and is still in the planning stages.
The robotics program will take place in nearly one-third of the company's locations, as there are about 350 brick-and-mortar White Castle restaurants across the Midwest, Southwest and the New York area.
White Castle is hardly the first fast-food chain to look at artificial intelligence as a way of increasing efficiency and lowering labor costs. Other chains like Sonic, McDonald’s and Checkers are working with AI companies to streamline taking orders in the drive-thru.
Even grocery chain Kroger is working with their high-tech fulfillment centers across the country to streamline grocery delivery.