Restaurants in the UAE will soon have robot chefs preparing meals for customers.
Americana Restaurants, which operates Pizza Hut, KFC and Hardees in the Middle East and North Africa, has teamed up with Miso Robotics to bring machine employees into the workforce.
The robotics company will test its Flippy 2, a robotic arm that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence, at the Wimpy restaurant in Dubai Mall.
It does not get tired, take breaks or sweat into the dishes it prepares, nor can it suffer an injury.
This will be the first phase of the agreement, with expansion planned across other Americana restaurants in the coming months.
Melvin Michael, brand director of Wimpy, said the move will help the restaurant keep up with the latest market trends.
“Americana Restaurants’ partnership with Miso Robotics marks a significant milestone for the company as we strive to address shifting customer behaviours and preferences through innovative technological solutions,” he said.
Flippy 2 is a customisable robot that can perform a range of cooking tasks automatically in fast-food restaurants.
Using machine learning and AI vision, it can also work an entire fry station, helping to create a more efficient work environment.
Many US restaurants are installing the new robot arm to produce food faster.
American chain White Castle is reportedly installing 100 Flippy 2 machines, which will be able to fry items and flip burgers.
The restaurant has already tried out the initial version of the robot, after teaming up with Miso Robotics in 2020.
Mike Bell, chief executive of Miso Robotics, said the company wants to make its services global.
“In the past year, we’ve announced partnerships with some of the largest brands in the US, and that momentum has led to us being pulled internationally to introduce our technology on a global scale,” he said.
“Americana Restaurants’ push to scale robotics in their operations is a testament to their superb operating capability in the MENA region.
“This is a true partnership that we see blossoming for many years to come and we wanted to make sure the market was right for future deployment at additional locations. The time is now to take Flippy global, and we have a great partner to do it with.”
Automation has quickly become popular in the restaurant and service industry over the past couple of years.
As well as being able to finish more tasks quicker than ever, robots also help restaurants reduce labour costs.
A 2020 report by restaurant consulting firm Aaron Allen and Associates showed that more than 80 per cent of restaurant jobs, including cooking, serving and preparation, could potentially be taken over by automation.