Robots are good for reducing costs by performing tasks that would normally be delegated to human workers. The human workers need to be paid, robots do not. This was the inspiration behind the Spyce restaurant, which has a robotic kitchen and is very budget-friendly.
The Spyce restaurant was founded by 4 MIT engineering graduates, Michael Farid, Braden Knight, Luke Schlueter and Kale Rogers. They developed the necessary technology via MIT’s 2015 Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator program.
The inspiration of the idea came when Farid was getting his masters in mechanical engineering and didn’t have enough time to cook his own meals and was let down by the high prices of restaurants. They opened their restaurant in Boston on the 3rd of May.
Customers are greeted by a human host as they enter the restaurant and are guided to a row of touchscreen kiosks. The menu currently only has six stir-fry bowls which were designed by an advisor on the project, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulu. Each bowl starts at a price of $7.50 and the customers can add proteins for an additional cost.
The robotic kitchen sets about preparing the dish once the order has been placed. The procedure it follows is dumping raw ingredients into one of seven rotating induction-heated woks that are tilted forward. The customers at the Spyce restaurant can watch the progress of their meal from the opposite side of the counter.
It only takes about 3 minutes for the food to be cooked which is the brought out to the customer after the addition of cold garnishes by a human worker. The team is currently working to refine the concept and open multiple branches in different cities but they have no plans to eliminate the human side of the restaurant just yet.
“Our robotic kitchen was designed to be a tool,” says Schlueter. “At our restaurant, our robotic kitchen allows our garde mangers to focus on making our bowls look beautiful, applying the finishing touches, and being creative. We also have a commissary team that preps our ingredients for the robotic kitchen. We’ve designed the robotic kitchen to work in harmony with humans because without humans, our robotic kitchen would not function.”
You can check it out in the video below: