The company that created a robot that flips burgers is now getting into beverages.
Miso Robotics, the maker of Flippy, has developed an automated beverage dispenser for restaurants and is partnering with beverage dispenser company Lancer Worldwide to manufacture it.
The machine is intended to ease quick-service operations amid a labor crunch and shift to off-premise that has made efficiency and speed more important than ever. Miso said it identified beverages as an area where automation could help.
The dispenser can connect to the restaurant's POS system and will be able to select the right size cup, pour and seal drinks, and pass them off to staff. The process is timed so each drink is ready along with the rest of the meal to hand off to the customer or delivery person.
"Order fulfillment is a major factor for customer satisfaction, and operators can’t afford to have a beverage left behind when a delivery driver or customer visits," said Jake Brewer, Miso's chief strategy officer, in a statement. "We are extremely excited to create a product that will not only make the lives of those working in commercial kitchens better, but will be a game changer for the industry as a whole to deliver a world-class customer experience."
Brewer said there was "no question" Miso would choose to work with San Antonio-based Lancer, one of the largest beverage dispenser manufacturers in the world, to create the dispenser.
It is the second new product announcement in as many months for Miso, which in May began selling the software behind Flippy as a stand-alone product that helps guide kitchen staff through the cooking process.
Information about when the dispenser will be available and how much it will cost was not immediately available.
Automation is one obvious solution for restaurants' hiring woes coming out of the pandemic. However, it appears to be a long way from widespread adoption in restaurants. Miso is in the midst of a pilot with White Castle and has reported a flood of interest from other chains. But even giant McDonald's, which has invested in AI in the drive-thru, has said it is years from implementing that kind of automation chainwide.