The First Burger Restaurant Run By A Robot Is Opening In San Francisco

As order kiosks replace cashiers in McDonald's and other "Fight for $15" fast-food restaurants, a restaurant startup that's opening in San Francisco next week will feature what would be a milestone in the history of food service (and also the latest sign that robots are about to take over far more fast-food jobs): On June 27, the restaurant will become the first to serve burgers cooked and assembled by a robot. According to Bloomberg, the burger will be assembled and cooked in a machine that contains 20 computers, 350 sensors, and 50 actuator mechanisms - and zero human interference, other than having somebody present to hand the finished burger to customers.

The company, called Creator, was founded by entrepreneur Alex Vardakostas in 2012. The 33-year-old has had experiencing working in burger restaurants since he was young; growing up in Southern California, his family owned the A's Burgers chain, as well as several other restaurants. Building a robot to build a more efficient burger has always been a source of fascination for Vardakostas, who started construction of what he calls "the burger robot" in his parent's garage back in 2010. Since then, he has been working to assemble a dream team of engineers, robotics experts and chefs to help him finish the machine and round out the concept. He's also raised at least $18 million in venture funding from Google ventures and other sources.

Burger

Burger

Building the burger robot was always something Vardakostas has always wanted to do.

"When you make 400 of the same burger every day, you can’t help but think, 'How would I make this experience better?'" he said.

Burger

Creator's first restaurant will be located at 680 Folsom St., in San Francisco's trendy SoMa neighborhood, one of "San Francisco's top 5 priciest neighborhoods". Food costs at the restaurant are unusually high, amounting to roughly 40% of the sticker price of the burger. But Vardakostas said his company saves money on labor thanks to the machine, allowing it to spend more on ingredients. The way the machine is designed allows it to fit in a more compact area than would typically be needed for a burger restaurant's kitchen, allowing restaurants to also save on space.

There are about 40 people on the team, with about nine employees working during opening hours, estimates Vardakostas, a lower number of staffers than at a burger place. There’s also the design. Because so much of the work is done by the machine, typical burger production space is freed up for seating.  "It costs about $1.5 million on average to build a McDonald’s. The machine is way less than that," says Vardakostas. Creator has plans to roll it out into other cities (Vardakostas wants to go into urban areas that aren’t as super-affluent as San Francisco, such as Stockton, where he perceives a market for high-quality, affordable burgers) as well as venues like airport terminals, train stations, stadiums, and universities. "The machine gives us the architecture freedom to make this kind of experience all over. Doesn’t smell like burgers."

The machine allows customers to watch nearly all of the preparation process - except for the grinding of the meat (Creator's patties are ground fresh while the burgers are cooked to order). The setup is ideal for sharing fast-motion videoclips on Instagram or Snapchat.

The machine in action is a made for fast-motion video. First the brioche travels across the chute, pushed by a wooden block (and air pressure). It then shimmies down a chute as it’s sliced, toasted, and deposited in a leaf-shaped, custom-made container. Traveling along the copper-colored conveyor belt, it lands under the sauce spigots—there are around eight on offer, including barbecue, onion jam, shiitake mushroom, and ballpark mustard. Next are the sweet pickles, tomatoes, and onions—sliced to order, they land in slow motion on the bun. Shredded lettuce follows, then cheese—mild or smoked Cheddar and grated to enhance the melting potential. At the end of the line are large tubes of seasoning, including alderwood smoked salt, sprinkled on the griddled 4-ounce burger before the patty lands on the cheesed half of the bun.

The only workers you’ll see around the machine, apart from the odd employee replacing ingredients, are "concierges" at the front of the contraption to take orders and payment and a few at the end to serve the burgers.

An accompanying app will allow customers to submit their orders in advance, and customize the amount of sauce on the top bun and the amount of salt on the bottom of the patty. Right now, the machines can produce about 120 burgers an hour. Eventually, the company hopes to produce 400 an hour. If the company can achieve that goal, it'll greatly increase the value of the machine. But in terms of the cost to build and operate one of these machines, Vardakostas says it's far less than the $1.5 million it reportedly costs to open a McDonald's franchise.

Comments

FireBrander Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:36 Permalink

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS!

 

With ordering kiosks, you can kiss the majority of your geezer customers goodbye!

 

Local Sam's Club remodeled the snack bar...kiosks only ordering.

Pre-Kiosks:

Geezer city for lunch and afternoon snack.

Post Kiosks:

Geezers are gone.

 

My geezer parents not only stopped eating there, they canceled their membership...now they, and their friends, "hang out" at the casino snackbar.

PS> My Sams has 4 Kiosks...and I swear....2 of the 4 are always "out of order"...only 1 was working yesterday...thought of getting pizza slice....~10 people in line...F'it.

 

PSS> If you thought the people taking your order at the Sams's snackbar were slow and stupid...a lot of the customers trying to order through the kiosks are even worse. Lady with 5 kids, her turn to order, she's asking each kid what they want! Couldn't do that while standing in line...nope...had to wait till she was at the screen...world is overfull of clueless morons.

PaulKwiatkowsk… gigadeath Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:58 Permalink

they are food and fodder for Artificial intelligence and its creator 

 

In Russia as well as in the West, research has been under way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1PTQZykGf0
for many years in biological synthesis--that is, artificial life http://w11.zetaboards.com/WiolawaPressForum/topic/30567699/1/#new
forms; and according to high intelligence, a stunning
break-through took place in Russia some years ago. The Russians 
refer to this break-through as a "providential discovery",
something they learned almost by accident. They discovered the
key to creating what are known as "organic robotoids." An
organic robotoid is an artificial robot-like creature, it looks
and acts exactly like a human being and yet it is not human. A
robotoid is alive in the biological sense but it is an artificial
life form. Robotoids respond to conventional routine medical
tests in the same way as humans do; they eat, they drink, they
breathe, they bleed if cut; and they can be killed. Robotoids
can also think, but they think only in the sense that a computer
thinks. Like any other computer, the brain of a robotoid has to
be programmed for each assignment it is given; but unlike many
electronic computers, the biological computer brain of a robotoid
possesses an enormous memory. As a result, robotoids can be
programmed to communicate and think in such complex patterns that
they act human. http://w11.zetaboards.com/WiolawaPressForum/topic/10360800/1/#new

In reply to by gigadeath

Aubiekong FireBrander Thu, 06/21/2018 - 19:20 Permalink

Your a low IQ moron if you are eating anything at Sams club.  Absolutely no nutrition, all fat, chemicals, trash, nothing good for your health.  When you have diabetes, heart disease you will cry "why me, must be bad luck", well No its because you ate shit for food.  

In reply to by FireBrander

FireBrander Aubiekong Thu, 06/21/2018 - 20:20 Permalink

Pfff.

It's a snack dumbass.

My Grandpa broke every "healthy eating" rule in the book...never saw the man without a cigarette in his hand...he made it to 84. Grandmother-in-law made it to 102...her diet would send a "nutritionist" into cardiac arrest..lots of frozen foods and beer...fully functional till the end...died in her sleep of "natural causes"...freezer full of chicken pot pies.

Your health and longevity is 90% genetics.

PS> The 102 lived in the same house for 60 years...we prepared to sell the house.."Dangerously high levels of Radon"...LOL!..and the well water was high in "Farm Chemicals"...double LOL!

In reply to by Aubiekong

Alexander De Large Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:36 Permalink

ZH later than a bastard on the goddamn fucking news:

The Supreme Court ruled that in-house judges at the Securities and Exchange Commission had been deciding cases without constitutional authorization

By Adam Liptak

  • June 21, 2018
    •  
    •  

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that in-house judges at the Securities and Exchange Commission had been deciding cases without constitutional authorization.

The in-house judges, known as administrative law judges, were appointed by staff members rather than by the five-member commission itself. That ran afoul of the Constitution’s appointments clause, Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the majority in the 7-to-2 decision.

The clause requires “inferior officers” to be appointed by the president, the courts or “heads of departments.” The commission itself is a “head of department,” while its staff members are not.

Since the judges exercised significant authority in hearing and ruling on disputes, Justice Kagan wrote, they were officers rather than mere employees. It did not matter, she wrote, that the judges’ decisions were subject to review by the commission.

The Justice Department, which had long contended that the in-house judges were employees and not officers, switched positions in the Supreme Court in the last year. In an unusual move, it urged the justices to grant review in the case, Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-130, even though it had won in the appeals court.

Since the two sides agreed that the judges had not been properly appointed, the court invited Anton Metlitsky, a New York lawyer who had served as a law clerk to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., to argue the opposite position.

The day after the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to hear the case, the commission appeared to cure the constitutional problem. It issued an orderratifying the appointments of the in-house judges. And it instructed judges to give fresh consideration to pending matters.

The case arose from charges that Raymond J. Lucia and his firm had made misleading presentations to prospective clients about a retirement strategy they called “Buckets of Money.”

Mr. Lucia lost before an administrative law judge and the S.E.C., and a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected a challenge to the judge’s authority. The full appeals court agreed to rehear the case, but its judges deadlocked 5 to 5.

Justice Kagan wrote that the administrative law judge, Judge Cameron Elliot, had not been properly appointed. That meant, she wrote, that Mr. Lucia was entitled to new hearing.

“And we add today one thing more,” Justice Kagan wrote. “That official cannot be Judge Elliot, even if he has by now received (or receives sometime in the future) a constitutional appointment. Judge Elliot has already both heard Lucia’s case and issued an initial decision on the merits. He cannot be expected to consider the matter as though he had not adjudicated it before.”

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, joined on this point by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, disagreed. “The reversal here is based on a technical constitutional question,” he wrote, “and the reversal implies no criticism at all of the original judge or his ability to conduct the new proceedings.”

Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ginsburg, dissented from the decision’s central holding. The judges, she wrote, are not officers since they “do not exercise significant authority because they do not, and cannot, enter final, binding decisions against the government or third parties.”

David M. Zornow, who brought one of the first legal challenges to the S.E.C.’s appointment practices, said his reading of the decision permits any litigant with a pending administrative case who has challenged the constitutionality of an administrative law judge to demand a new hearing.

Mr. Zornow, who is a partner with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said it is less certain how the ruling will affect settled cases, even ones in which a defendant had challenged the constitutionality of an administrative judge to preside over the matter.

Richard J. Holwell, a former federal judge, said the ruling should not affect hundreds of completed cases. “The decision is pretty carefully crafted” to limit its impact, he said, adding that the Supreme Court left open the question of whether it would apply to administrative judges at other agencies.

When the case was argued in April, a lawyer for the administration asked the court to consider the separate issue of whether statutory restrictions on removing the judges from office are permissible.

On Thursday, Justice Kagan rejected that request. “No court has addressed that question, and we ordinarily await ‘thorough lower court opinions to guide our analysis of the merits,’” she wrote, quoting an earlier decision.

Justice Breyer, writing only for himself on this point, said the issue was important and warranted the court’s attention.

PaulKwiatkowsk… Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

humans just don't know how tasty they really are In Russia as well as in the West, research has been under way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1PTQZykGf0
for many years in biological synthesis--that is, artificial life http://w11.zetaboards.com/WiolawaPressForum/topic/30567699/1/#new
forms; and according to high intelligence, a stunning
break-through took place in Russia some years ago. The Russians
refer to this break-through as a "providential discovery",
something they learned almost by accident. They discovered the
key to creating what are known as "organic robotoids." An
organic robotoid is an artificial robot-like creature, it looks
and acts exactly like a human being and yet it is not human. A
robotoid is alive in the biological sense but it is an artificial
life form. Robotoids respond to conventional routine medical
tests in the same way as humans do; they eat, they drink, they
breathe, they bleed if cut; and they can be killed. Robotoids
can also think, but they think only in the sense that a computer
thinks. Like any other computer, the brain of a robotoid has to
be programmed for each assignment it is given; but unlike many
electronic computers, the biological computer brain of a robotoid
possesses an enormous memory. As a result, robotoids can be
programmed to communicate and think in such complex patterns that
they act human. http://w11.zetaboards.com/WiolawaPressForum/topic/10360800/1/#new

RumpleShitzkin GunnyG Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:57 Permalink

Give it to them then.  

Fuck it. It’s that...or beaner scabs or robo scabs.

Pay people what ever it takes to get legal citizens to do the fucking job.

robos and greasers distort the market.

 

these restaurants are spit roast fucking you. Pay scab wage on the worker side, then cornhole you for the pink slime razor thin quarter sized ‘burger’ @ 3 bucks per.

 

shit show.

 

three ring shit show

In reply to by GunnyG

char_aznable Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:42 Permalink

I'd rather pay robot manufacturers than mexicans, the only folks left who don't know how dangerous it is to spend ten hours in front of a charcoal grill.

Bemused Observer Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:43 Permalink

"When you make 400 of the same burger everyday, you can't help but think, "How would I make this experience better?"

 

Well, I don't know if that's the first thought that would come to mind if I were in that position...I might periodically scream out "Who the fuck did I piss off?", or "Where's my shotgun?", or something like that.

 

But thank God for guys like him, because I do love a good burger.

Utopia Planitia Thu, 06/21/2018 - 18:46 Permalink

I hope the robots end up purchasing all the homes and real estate in that entire area and send the trash living there out into the Pacific!  It will once again be a beautiful place!