By Brian Heater
You’ve got to hand it to Miso — the company knows how to sell the sizzle, as they say in the meat-cooking business. The robotics firm has been striking high-profile deals with some of the U.S.’s biggest fast food chains, from White Castle to Panera Bread. Today it adds Jack in the Box to that list.
The king of the late-night hamburger/taco combo is set to pilot a pair of Miso robots. That includes the newish drink machine, Sippy and the company’s old standby, Flippy 2, which helps augment line cook roles by flipping burgers. It’s still an extremely limited pilot, at one of the chain’s San Diego locations, but if things go well, there will be a further rollout in “the months ahead.”
“This collaboration with Miso Robotics is a steppingstone for our back-of-house restaurant operations. We are confident that this technology will be a good fit to support our growing business needs with intentions of having a positive impact on our operations while promoting safety and comfort to our team members,” said Jack in the Box COO Tony Darden.
Miso was already getting some nice adoption through the expansion of its deal with White Castle, but things have no doubt accelerated during the pandemic. Restaurant jobs were hard hit early on, among those essential workplaces staying open amid stay at home orders. Staffing has remained an issue for many, as the so-called “great resignation” has disproportionately impacted lower-wage jobs associated with fast food.
Neither product is currently designed to replace human workers outright. They’re instead designed to augment human workers, especially during busy periods, so staff can spend more time serving customers.