Cala Hid its Robot so Customers Would Focus on its Food
CEO Ylan Richard talks about his hot pasta-bot.
The level of theatricality is an issue every food and beverage robot startup faces. Should the robot be front and center (a la Cafe X) to attract eyeballs and entertain people (the robot arm waved to me!). Or should robot parts take a backseat to focus on other aspects of foodservice?
Over in Paris, France, Cala has decidedly chosen the latter. Sure, the company developed a pasta making robot that holds four different types of pasta, four different types of sauce and 20 toppings and is capable of whipping up 400 pasta dishes per hour (which is scaled down from its initial 800 meals/hour throughput). But as Ylan Richard, CEO of Cala told me by video chat this week — the food is the star.
When Cala opened its first location in Paris in October of last year, “No one really knew robot was preparing the food,” Richard said. It helps that Cala’s first location was delivery only, so people weren’t even coming into the restaurant to begin with. But even as the company adds locations, Richard…
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