jack in the box will experiment with burger-flipping robots

Miso Robotics/Jack in the Box

Add Jack in the Box to the list of fast food chains experimenting with robots. The company is launching a pilot program that will test Miso Robotics’ Flippy 2 (frying) and Sippy (drink-prepping) robots in a San Diego restaurant. Jack in the Box wants to see how much help the automatons can offer to busy staff who may want to spend more time with customers and less time in the kitchen.

The companies didn’t say how long the pilot might last. Jack in the Box said it was open to “further integration” in coming months, however.

The restauranteur joins Chipotle, Panera, White Castle and others in using Miso’s technology. As with those companies, efficient meal-making isn’t the only goal. The robots promise more consistent quality, so there’s less risk of receiving an undercooked burger or the wrong drink.

The same perks and pitfalls remain. This could alleviate stress for workers who might be overwhelmed, particularly in an era when restaurant staff shortages are all too common. At the same time, there’s a concern operators might use robots like these to automate staff out of jobs or avoid hiring more people. Miso’s machines can’t completely replace humans at present, though, so a larger automation crisis isn’t likely in the near future.

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