In the midst of the minimum wage controversy and the ever-growing sense of entitlement in service staff comes a beacon of hope. Momentum Machines has developed a robot/machine that makes gourmet burgers from being to end thereby automating the process completely. Their vision is a “smart restaurant” that’s completely turnkey where the workforce is significantly reduced.
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Does this signify the future of QSR and maybe even FSR? Possibly. Throughout history innovative has always been spurred by controversy and points of pain. See also: The manufacturing industry. In this instance the constant complaining by the workforce leading to synchronized walk-outs and protests, combined with new legislation are all threatening to demolish an already razor-thin bottomline. The only solution is finding a way to do things better, faster and cheaper. Cue the brains at Momentum:

Fast food doesn’t have to have a negative connotation anymore. With our technology, a restaurant can offer gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices.

Our alpha machine frees up all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.

It does everything employees can do except better:

  • it slices toppings like tomatoes and pickles immediately before it places the slice onto your burger, giving you the freshest burger possible.
  • our next revision will offer custom meat grinds for every single customer. Want a patty with 1/3 pork and 2/3 bison ground to order? No problem.
  • Also, our next revision will use gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant, giving the patty the perfect char but keeping in all the juices.
  • it’s more consistent, more sanitary, and can produce ~360 hamburgers per hour.

The labor savings allow a restaurant to spend approximately twice as much on high quality ingredients and the gourmet cooking techniques make the ingredients taste that much better.

To me this marks the beginning of a new era, or at least the potential beginning. It doesn’t mean the hands-on restaurants will go away just as the internet hasn’t killed the print industry. It will, however; make a dent and spark a change. The weak will fail and fade away and the ones who will jump at the opportunity will prevail. Survival of the fittest quicker than a New York minute. And there aren’t any government bailouts in sight to stop the inevitable from happening.

What do you foresee happening with this type of innovation?

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