First there were automated order kiosks, now there’s talk about a robot-powered burger making machine.
With organized labor’s push for a $15 minimum wage, unions are pushing minimum wage labor out of the budget range of restaurants and many of the industry’s unskilled jobs may soon be hard to find.
In what could be a prototype of future fast food restaurants, a burger joint in San Francisco appears to be in the works that will feature a machine that can produce 400 made-to-order hamburgers an hour — the process is fully autonomous, meaning it can slice toppings, grill a patty, and assemble and bag the burger without any help from humans, Tech Insider reported.
Here’s a look at the robo-burger:
The machine first debuted in 2012 by Momentum Machines, but little happened until January of this year, when the company applied for a building permit to convert a retail space into a restaurant, according to Hoodline.com.
“Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” the company’s co-founder, Alexandros Vardakostas, told the tech news site Xconomy. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”
A job posting last month on Craigslist offered a little insight into what lies ahead, Tech Insider noted.
“This location will feature the world-premiere of our proprietary and remarkable new advances in technology that enable the automatic creation of impossibly delicious burgers at prices everyone can afford,” the ad explains.
Momentum Machines is hiring for the role of “restaurant generalist,” as there are still some things a machine can’t do.
“[You will] learn to do everything that’s part of running a restaurant in San Francisco,” the ad says, but points out that this may include the “dirty work of restocking, hauling trash, and tidying up.”
But applicants may learn new skills like software troubleshooting, market research, and product development research.
Here’s a diagram of the Momentum Machines burger making machine: