It looks like a revolution in fast food joints might be on the way – and it could put lots of people out of work. Momentum Machines have developed the Alpha, a fully automated machine that can cook, pack and serve up to 360 perfect burgers an hour, made to the customer’s specification. In fact the company claims that it does so with such quality and efficiency that it will produce “gourmet quality burgers at fast food prices”. Well, that actually depends on the quality of the ingredients put into it…
“With a conveyor belt-type system the burgers are freshly ground, shaped and grilled to the customer’s liking. And only when the burger’s finished cooking does Alpha slice the tomatoes and pickles and place them on the burger as fresh as can be. Finally, the machine wraps the burger up for serving.”
The company believes that this machine could lead to fully automated restaurants, even without humans to run the tills, since these can be automated too and it could even find its way into burger vending machines. A new feature coming soon, is meat grinding where different meats can be combined to create burgers even more customized to the customer’s preferences.
Somehow, I think that a fully automated McDonalds or Burger King won’t do as well as one with human staff in it, at least to serve the customers in the restaurant, since the human touch makes it more inviting to spend time in.
The company plans on launching the first ever restaurant chain with a cook staff made entirely of robots. But not only might we soon find Alpha’s creations at local burger joints, but the company is also targeting convenience stores, food trucks, and somehow even vending machines.