Chipotle Mexican Grill is experimenting with a new tortilla chip robot that would help it offset labor shortages amid the Great Resignation.
Miso Robotics CEO Michael Bell told Fox News' Neil Cavuto Friday that his company partnered with Chipotle to develop a chip-making robot as the fast-food company struggles with the current labor shortage. He said, "automation is the solution."
"The restaurant industry had a labor gap before the pandemic… the pandemic just accelerated this big gap between the number of jobs and the available labor," Bell added.
He noted America's labor shortage would continue for some time as millions of jobs go unfilled. Meanwhile, executives, such as the ones at Chipotle, are seeking to leverage AI to automate mundane tasks that low-skilled workers would typically complete.
So far, tests at Chipotle's innovation lab in Irvine, California, have gone great. The robot, named "Chippy," is set to debut at an undisclosed location in southern California.
Chippy has proven itself to follow Chipotle's tortilla chip recipe accurately.
This is just another example of how the labor shortage is ushering in investment in automation by major corporations to displace low-skill/low-wage human workers. At this rate, by the end of this decade, one would suspect many fast-food restaurants would have some to all of their kitchens automated, a move to drive down costs.