Wake Up Call

Coming Soon: Robo-Burgers

Robotics startup Momentum Machines is trying to revolutionize the fast food industry by delivering "gourmet" burgers to customers through a completely automated burger machine. Momentum Machines promises to reduce not only the pesky costs of employing whiny fleshbags but also the floor space that traditional kitchens take up, something they refer to as an "artifact" of a supposedly bygone era.

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Saving money by eliminating staff is by no means an new idea. We've previously discussed efforts in China to reduce staffing cost for noodle soup shops by using a knife wielding robot to slice the noodles. And anyone who has eaten a burger at McDonald's know it has been decades since human hands have played a role in forming burger patties.

The revolutionary change Momentum Machines promises is to automate the entire burger making process while adding some options that aren't currently available to fast food restaurants. Their machine not only forms and cooks patties but it also slices the toppings to order, assembles the burger and even bags it up for waiting customers. While that's cool what's even cooler is that the company promises that their technology will allow for the custom patties. Patties composed of meat ground to order and combined in whatever combination the user/diner desires. Want a 80/20 mix of emu and ostrich with just a dash of porky belly? That could conceivably be possible using this technology.

The other issue is size. If you walk into your average burger joint you'll notice that the kitchen seems to take up at least half the space. That certainly makes sense when you consider that you not only need all these stations for people to prepare and package food but that you also need enough space between those stations so people can move around. If the prepping, cooking and serving is all compressed into one space you could allocate more space for seating, storage or beautification.

This company has vowed to offset the disruption caused by putting burger cooks out of business by offering them training as a burger machine repair technicians. Further they argue that historically the introduction of machines to replace people has ended up eventually expanding the job market anyways. Even though a burger cook might be displaced, Momentum Machines will need to hire techs to service their machine. What's more, since these machines make it cheaper to run businesses which means said businesses should theoretically expand into newer markets.

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Ando Muneno
Contact: Ando Muneno