Chipotle Tests Food Automation System for Burrito Bowls, SaladsChipotle Tests Food Automation System for Burrito Bowls, Salads
The restaurant chain has partnered with Hyphen to deploy robot-automated back-of-house food preparation
October 3, 2023
Chipotle is testing a new automated system for building burrito bowls and salads at its Cultivate Center in Irvine, California, in collaboration with foodservice automation company Hyphen.
Hyphen will provide its robotic automated food service platform, a conveyor belt-like system that dispenses different ingredients onto a plate and fulfills digital orders as they come in.
Launched in 2021, Hyphen’s Automated Makeline and operating system was designed to fulfill digital orders, manage inventory and eliminate cross-contamination and missing ingredients. According to the company, it can produce 350 meals per hour requiring just one staff member.
With the Chipotle partnership, the automated system will be used to create and dispense the restaurant chain’s entrées, while employees will assemble other items such as tacos and quesadillas.
Once the automated system finishes an order, the plate is sent to employees to package and send out for collection.
"Chipotle's new digital makeline built by Hyphen embodies our commitment to leveraging robotics to unlock the human potential of our workforce, ensuring an elevated dining experience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chipotle’s chief customer and technology officer. “Our goal is to have the automated digital makeline be the centerpiece of all our restaurants’ digital kitchens.”
Chipotle invested in Hyphen in June as part of Cultivate Next, the company's $50 million venture fund to invest in “strategically aligned” companies.
Through the fund, Chipotle also invested in Vebu, with the partners creating an automated guacamole-making robot, the Autocado, earlier this year.
The restaurant chain made its first foray into restaurant automation with Chippy, the tortilla chip-making robot from Miso Robotics last year.
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