Latest Business News
Chipotle Develops Robot to Cut, Core and Peel Avocados for Guacamole
Chipotle Mexican Grill has introduced a robot called Autocado that can cut, core, and peel avocados, which are used in their guacamole. This development comes as the restaurant industry faces a labor shortage. The Autocado robot is expected to reduce the preparation time for Chipotle's guacamole by half.
Collaborative Robot Development
Chipotle partnered with Vebu Labs, a California-based robotics startup, to develop the collaborative robot, or cobot. In addition to this collaboration, Chipotle's $50 million venture arm, Cultivate Next, is investing in Vebu. This investment aims to further enhance the development and implementation of robotics in the restaurant industry. Other fast-food chains like Sweetgreen and Starbucks have also embraced automation and robotics to streamline their operations.
Benefits of the Autocado
The Autocado allows Chipotle employees to load a full case of avocados into the robot, which can hold up to 25 pounds at once. The machine vertically orients the avocados, slices them in half, and removes the cores and skin. It then collects the fruit in a bowl at the bottom, which employees can then mix with other guacamole ingredients. This robot not only saves time and labor costs but also reduces the risk of knife injuries in the kitchen.
Future Plans and Potential Savings
Chipotle plans to test the Autocado in their restaurants later this year. The company expects to add machine learning capabilities and sensors to the robot, enabling it to evaluate the quality of avocados. Apart from improving efficiency, the Autocado could help reduce food waste and save millions of dollars on avocados if deployed across Chipotle's more than 3,100 locations. However, the cost of guacamole for customers is likely to remain the same.
Automation in Other Kitchen Tasks
Chipotle has been exploring automation for other kitchen tasks as well. They have been testing a tortilla chip-making robot called Chippy, created by Miso Robotics, in one of their California locations. The company is also exploring opportunities to automate ingredient preparation and use artificial intelligence to predict food demand.
Overall, Chipotle's development of the Autocado robot showcases their commitment to leveraging technology and automation to address the challenges faced by the restaurant industry. With the rise of the labor shortage and increasing wages, such innovations are essential for enhancing operational efficiency and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Conclusion: The Impact on New Businesses
The development of the Autocado robot by Chipotle to cut, core, and peel avocados for their guacamole has significant implications for new businesses in the restaurant industry. This innovative technology addresses the ongoing labor shortage and rising wages, allowing new ventures to streamline their operations and improve efficiency.
By leveraging robotics and automation, new businesses can reduce labor costs and decrease the time required for food preparation. This not only enhances productivity but also frees up employees to focus on other tasks that require human skill and creativity.
Chipotle's collaboration with Vebu Labs and their investment in Vebu through Cultivate Next demonstrate the potential for partnerships between established companies and startups. New businesses can explore similar collaborations to access cutting-edge technology and expertise, giving them a competitive edge in the market.
The Autocado robot, with its ability to evaluate avocado quality and reduce food waste, showcases the potential for cost savings. New businesses can benefit from this technology by minimizing waste and optimizing the use of ingredients, resulting in increased profitability.
Furthermore, the automation of other kitchen tasks, as seen with Chipotle's Chippy robot for tortilla chip-making, offers new businesses opportunities to explore various aspects of their operations. From ingredient preparation to predicting food demand using artificial intelligence, automation can revolutionize the way new restaurants operate.
In conclusion, the introduction of the Autocado robot by Chipotle sets a precedent for new businesses in the restaurant industry to embrace technology and automation. By capitalizing on these innovations, new ventures can overcome challenges, improve efficiency, and ensure customer satisfaction, ultimately leading to their success in a highly competitive market.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/12/chipotle-tests-robot-to-prepare-avocados-for-guacamole.html