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Journalists tried burgers, cooked by a robot. They were tastier and cheaper than conventional

The number of variations of one burger from a robot will depend only on the imagination of the customers.

TechCrunch Photos

The first start-up restaurant Creator, where burgers are cooked not by people, but by a robot, will open only in September. TechCrunch editor Josh Costine visited theinstitution in advance , talked to the founder of the startup and tried one dish.

Director General and co-founder of Creator Alex Vardakostas (Alex Vardakostas) said that the main difference between his company’s restaurants will not only be the fact of cooking the robot. The startup is going to cook the freshest burgers and sell them for only $ 6 (378 rubles) – cheaper than in conventional institutions.

The system is simple: the client needs to select the characteristics of his burger using a tablet. Then the cooking starts, which takes about five minutes.

Compressed air will feed the previously baked bun in the “elevator”, after which it will cut the vibrating blade. After this, the robot will step by step pour sauces on the bun, and cut and spread tomatoes, onions, cheese and other ingredients. Meat is cooked “in a special way” so that it almost does not have to be chewed and it literally “melted in the mouth”.

Robot Creator is equipped with 350 sensors, 50 drives and 20 computers. He makes sure that the meat has a certain temperature, and the ingredients remain fresh.

So far, only a few options are available: a classic burger with a thousand island sauce, Tumami-burger with oyster sauce, The Smoky with toasted onion and Dad Burger. After launching the restaurant, customers will be able to choose the ingredients they need through the application themselves, because of which the burger will get an “almost infinite” number of variations.

The TechCrunch editor tried the burgers cooked by the robot, and was left with them in ecstasy.

The taste of each of them is simply wonderful. Freshly cut and crushed ingredients without preservatives give a fragrance. Buns do not fall apart while you chew them, despite the fact that they are very fresh.

And after that I fell into a slightly greasy and filling stomach to the nutritional coma who usually accompanies the use of cheeseburger.

Josh Costine

CEO Creator said that he is going to turn a restaurant chain into an international business. According to him, unlike McDonald’s, his enterprise has many advantages: for example, the average restaurant Creator is 50% more spacious, because the robot takes up little space, and it is easy to deploy and move.

According to Vardakostas, in an ordinary restaurant such a burger would cost $ 12-18 – twice as expensive as in Creator. He noted that perhaps it would be “not the best burgers in life, but the best for this price.” This is also made possible by the use of a robot – the company spends on ingredients more than any other burger, since it does not need to pay the cooks.

Nevertheless, Vardakostas is not going to get rid of the staff – instead, he wants to give them new opportunities.

Usually people consider work in restaurants as useless, but damn, we just need a chance. Technological companies allow employees to spend 10% of their time on any projects, but no one has done this for catering workers.

Alex Vardakostas
CEO Creator

According to co-founder Creator Steve Freyn (Steve Frehn), because of the introduction of robots that do all the dirty and dangerous work, many professions will have to “re-invent”.

We are already trying out different educational programs for the staff. We pay extra for 5% of the working time in which they read. We pay $ 16 an hour for reading. As soon as there are opportunities to refine the car, we will look for ways to pay servicing people as much as possible.

Steve Fren
co-founder and COO of Creator

CEO Creator said that the idea to use a robot to create burgers came to him when he was engaged in their preparation.

My parents had a stall with burgers. My job was to cook several hundred identical burgers every day. When you do this, you realize that so many opportunities are missed just because you do not have the right tool, and that’s why it’s hard work.

Alex Vardakostas

Robots and engineering have never been in the field of view of Vardakostas, but at 15, his father took him to the bookstore for the first time. Then the teenager became interested in physics and saw an opportunity in it. He entered the University of Santa Barbara to study physics, worked for a long time in the garage and showed the first prototypes of the details of the future robot chef at the Silicon Valley TechShop event.

There he met Steve Fren and together they started to create the company Creator. The path to the first restaurant at the startup took 10 years, and the team made serious progress only in 2014.

After the launch of the first restaurant, Vardakostas plans to gradually expand the business, but does not want to sell the franchise, so that someone can spoil his product.

I do not want anyone to start using frozen meat or ask for a higher price. We want to gradually get out of San Francisco, expanding to the terminals at the airport and bus stops. Our business model is extremely simple: we take a really good burger, which people like, and sell it twice cheaper.

Alex Vardakostas
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