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Flippy heads overseas to work with big operator Americana Restaurants

The robot will start at a Wimpy location in Dubai and will expand to more of Americana's 2,000 locations in the coming months.
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Image courtesy of Americana Restaurants

Flippy is Dubai bound.

Miso Robotics, maker of the robotic fry cook, has a deal with giant Middle Eastern operator Americana Restaurants to put Flippy in its restaurants, bringing the bot overseas for the first time.

Americana will test the robot at a single location of the Wimpy burger chain before bringing it to other restaurants in the coming months. The company operates more than 2,000 restaurants across brands including TGI Fridays, KFC, Pizza Hut and Hardee’s in more than 20 countries.

In a press release, Americana claimed to be the first QSR operator in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region to put robots in its kitchens. It hopes robots will help speed up its operations, ensure consistency and ease employees’ workload.

Meet restaurants’ new robotic workforce.

The Wimpy in the high-traffic Dubai Mall will use Flippy 2, the bot’s latest iteration, to work the fry station. 

“Americana Restaurants’ partnership with Miso Robotics marks a significant milestone for the company as we continue to strive to address shifting customer behaviors and preferences through state-of-the-art, innovative solutions,” said Melvin Michael, brand director of Wimpy, in a statement.

The deal adds to a momentous few months for Pasadena, Calif.-based Miso, which now has agreements with White Castle, Chipotle, Panera Bread and more to use its technology. It is among the many robotics companies making inroads in restaurants amid an ongoing staffing shortage and rising costs.

“That momentum has led to us being pulled internationally to introduce our technology on a global scale,” said Miso CEO Mike Bell in a statement. 

Wimpy, founded in Indiana in 1934, ultimately found a home overseas as a purveyor of classic American fare. It now has 17 locations in the MENA region.

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