This New Restaurant Is Disrupting the Fast-Food Industry

This Is $6 of Algorithmic Deliciousness

Written by John Peterson
Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:00PM

San Francisco is ground zero for tech companies. They range from social media to bioengineering and everything else in between.

It's also a city that's obsessed with food. And it's often the first destination for many of the international chains that want to break into the U.S. market.

It's a city that's teeming with early adopters and forward thinkers. This includes the team behind Creator. Creator opened its doors in a limited capacity on June 27th. It's both a restaurant and a culinary robotics company that offers the world's first primarily robot-made burger.

This is also an incredibly advanced engineering achievement, too.

The team behind this revolutionary restaurant has an impressive lineup. It includes engineers and robotics experts from the pantheons of technology like Apple, NASA, and Tesla.

Despite the firepower behind the innovative machine, its reason for existing is for improving the nature of our food.

Food tech companies in the recent past have focused too much on creating a cool and complicated device. And this has allowed its actual usefulness to take a back burner.

But this eight-year project began with founder Alexandros Vardakostas' desire to improve how the industry makes its food.

"We've always been a food-first company," says Vardakostas of Creator, formerly known as Momentum Machines. "I wanted to create a better culinary instrument."

And he understands that need acutely. Vardakostas spent years flipping burgers at his family's restaurants in Southern California (UCSB).

After he left his family's restaurants to study in the physics and engineering labs at UCSB, he saw a unique opportunity rise: 

I thought, "Why aren't we bringing [this technology] to the restaurant space for better food? Why can't we make life better for people who work in restaurants?"

And that's just what he did...

During the restaurant's busiest hours, as many as nine "robot attendants" are on the floor. They take orders, deliver burgers and drinks, and offer good old-fashioned human hospitality.

Even though Creator's burger machine does most of the work, the process still isn't completely devoid of human involvement.

There are no kiosks in the restaurant. Vardakostas says they feel rather dystopian. So, humans take orders with iPhones out on the floor.

Eventually, creator plans to develop an app that would allow customers to place orders on their own. They will be able to make specifications down to the milliliter of sauce they'd like on their burger.

And when there's an issue with the machine, like when something needs to be refilled or a burger has lost its way in the process, the human workers in the room receive an alert straight to their Apple Watches. And this lets them know where the problem is occurring.

The "robots are stealing our jobs" narrative remains popular. But Creator designed this particular machine to do the tasks that are repetitive and often unhealthy. This includes standing over a smoky grill for hours at a time.

Fries, sauces, side salads, and other items on the menu are prepared by human line cooks in the back. And this is because human creativity still needs to be relied upon to make Creator burgers special and of a high-quality.

This machine was never intended to replace the need for sous chefs or line cooks. It was introduced to perform the redundant tasks that no one wanted to do in the first place.

The robot, which was deliberately not given a human name by its makers, is a 14-foot, all-in-one burger machine. It uses 350 sensors and 20 computers to perform its culinary duties.

It can create a single burger in five minutes. And with two of the machines on display at this first location, they can make an astounding 130 burgers in an hour.

This display is key to the concept here, as well, with the entire process visible to onlookers.

"We're trying to make this the most transparent restaurant possible," says Vardakostas. That includes a glass display case, which shows every ingredient that goes into or on the burger.

Aside from the jaw-dropping machine itself, the price is also amazing. And that's especially clear consider that Creator uses organic, high-quality products with identified producers.

Creator minimizes many factors that tend to raise prices in restaurants. This includes energy use, a small retail footprint, and low food waste.

As a result, Creator is able to spend 40% to 50% on food cost. In comparison, the industry average is hovering somewhere around 30%.

The fact of the matter is that Vardakostas, the burger-making robot, and the entire team behind Creator have succeeded in this crazy achievement. And we should place Creator on a pedestal as the pinnacle.

That's all for now.

Until next time,

John Peterson
Pro Trader Today

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