“The goal is to continue building the engineering team to focus on building technology that allows restaurants to operate at a higher efficiency,” he said.
Most of the technology focuses on back-of-house operations, though Newlin declined to share details about that technology. On the front end, customers place orders using kiosks or its mobile app. A large screen then displays the customer’s name next to a countdown, which indicates exactly when an order will be ready.
“The general idea is figuring out how to run a restaurant based on statistics,” he said. “In the long term, we’re going to be running every piece of technology that touches on the customer and employee experience. We’re building a technology platform that will be the entire Birdcall ecosystem.”
One current attempt at machine-made burgers comes from a San Francisco startup called Momentum Machines, whose founders have estimated that their burger-making robot will save the average restaurant $135,000 a year in wages. Momentum says their machine can also customize burgers to include different blends of meat and special cheeses, neither of which the AMFare could handle. “Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient,” co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas has said. “It’s meant to completely obviate them.”
Also, one of the better headlines you’ll see today: “America has been trying to automate cheeseburgers for more than 50 years”
I worked with a retail food chain that presented a challenge in improving the communication and collaborative capabilities of its teams in food risk management. Prior to IT modernization, in-store staff manually monitored freezer temperatures every four hours — a complex and time-consuming task that was highly prone to human error. If an incident arose, the escalation process couldn’t identify the correct team member to address the temperature issues, so a mass email would be blasted out. There was no way of knowing if the correct team member has been made aware of the issue and had addressed it.
The company tackled this challenge by creating a more robust process for incident management involving SMS messages to identified staff, emails and phone calls to management, and automated announcements over the in-store system. In addition, they implemented an Internet of Things (IoT) program to completely automate and monitor refrigerator and frozen food temperature management. The result has been significantly increased efficiency, transparency, and accountability — not to mention a safer experience for their customers.