Where Do I Start With Food Robots?
A quick guide to get going with automation, no matter your food business.
It’s easy, when running a niche, trade publication like OttOmate, to assume that all my reader have the same knowledge I do about food robots. It’s a pretty specific newsletter to subscribe to, so I assume everyone is on the same level playing field.
But this isn’t always the case. And the many new readers who have subscribed to OttOmate may just be starting to look at robotics and automation to help out their food related businesses.
With that in mind, if you are new to food robotics, here’s a quick guide to to get you started:
If you run a restaurant or restaurant chain
If you operate a restaurant or chain of restaurants, there are a lot of ways you can go with food robotics: food prep, service, delivery, etc.
You should definitely check out OttOmate’s extensive coverage of restaurant robots. Even just perusing the headlines will clue you in to the variety of startups such as Miso Robotics, Hyphen and Dexai Robotics that are building robots that help prep and cook meals.
Server robots will most likely be the tip of the spear for any automation endeavors as they don’t require extensive build out or any alteration to back of house workflow. Companies in this space include Bear Robotics, Pudu Robotics and Orionstar.
You should also check out our market guides to sidewalk robot and drone delivery companies. Those markets are evolving quickly and these guides lay out all the key players in the space.
If you are an established restaurant looking to extend your brand without building, well, building an actual building — check out our guide to Restaurants in a Box. These standalone kiosks store ingredients, cook and package a variety of menu items.
If you are building a food-related robot
If your startup is building any type of machine that touches food, then you must check out the OttOmate Guide to NSF Certification, which lays out the tips for making sure your robot is safe to work with food.
If you run a hotel or resort
If you run a hotel or resort, you can expand your food and beverage service options without having to build out and add staff.
Look through our guide to robot baristas to offer lattes all day, and/or add a robot bartender to serve cocktails.
You could also follow the lead of the AC Hotel in Miami, which has enlisted Cartken’s sidewalk delivery robots to provide meal delivery from nearby restaurants.
You should also think outside, or more like inside the box as well. High-end vending machines from the likes of Yo-Kai Express and Piestro could offer hot ramen and pizza, respectively, to guests around the clock.
May I also suggest looking into cashierless checkout from a company like AiFi or Grabango for your on-site convenience stores? That way they can stay open longer, and customers can shop faster (they’ll appreciate it!).
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If you run food operations a college or corporate campus or military base
In charge of feeding a lot of hungry students or employees? First, I suggest you take a look at what Sodexo is doing, because the foodservice giant has assembled a number of automation services for its customers.
Delivery robots are fast becoming all the rage for food delivery on campuses. Check out our sidewalk delivery robot market guide for a list of providers.
You should also check out our guide to robot baristas to sling coffee drinks for late night study sessions.
You may also want to check out robots like Semblr from Karakuri, which is a cafeteria in a box and able to serve both cold and hot foods.
If you run an airport or transit hub
If you run a train station or airport or other transit hub, food and beverage robots can elevate your level of service! Check out the CVG airport as an example.
Check out our guide to autonomous restaurants in a box, as well as our guide to delivery robots!
If you run a pizzeria
Then check out OttOmate’s guide to pizza robots, naturally.
If you are a city government official
Delivery options are chaning rapidly and smart cities will be ahead of the technology curve, not chasing from behind to catch up. Read our guides on sidewalk delivery robots and drones to get up to speed quickly.
If you manage a grocery store chain
The line between restaurant and grocery store has definitely blurred over the past few years. As with restaurants, grocers have a number of options to expand existing and create new foodservice options.
Check out our guide to sidewalk delivery robots to automate some of your online orders. Or you can be like Aldi down in Australia and add a smart pizza vending machine to serve hot pizza without needing to add an oven.
Or sell one or two items with Tortoise’s mobile commerce robot.
If you run a stadium, arena or other venue
You should open up some cashierless checkout stores powered by a startup like Zippin or AiFi.
Or, use a mobile robot like Tortoise to bring commerce closer to your customers.
If you’re just curious about food robots
Well, then become an OttOmate subscriber and you’ll be the first to learn about all that’s happening in this exciting and evolving space!