Robot Burger Maker Strikes Fear Into Labor Unions
They may not be widely used NOW, but give it a few years...
There's a company out there called Momentum Machines, and within a decade could be changing the face of fast food as we know it.
The company is nearly ready to open a demonstration restaurant that will showcase it's new 'burger bot', a completely automated cooking and preparation machine that can crank out as many as 360-400 hamburgers in one hour. Momentum's founder, Alexandros Vardakostas, plans to open a restaurant that will show off the new creation, and they plan to start marketing it to third-party companies.
This isn't just a cooker, it will handle every aspect of making a hamburger. From slicing and cooking patty, adding desired toppings, bagging it and more. Applications are being added to allow multiple sizes of burger. Momentum says every single facet of human food preparation in a hamburger joint can by done by this machine, which takes up just 24 square feet - far smaller than the typical burger assembly line. According to Gizmag online:
"This self-contained, automatic device sees raw ingredients go in one end and the completed custom-made burgers come out the other at the rate of up to 400 per hour. The machine stamps out the patties, uses what the company says are "gourmet cooking techniques never before used in a fast food restaurant,” applies the toppings (which are cut only after ordering to ensure freshness), and even bags the burgers."
According to the company, their research and others have shown such machines, if widely implemented, would save U.S. fast-food makers some $9 billion dollars a year. Momentum is targeting restaurants, truck stops, food trucks, convenience stores and looking at vending machine applications. They say depending upon the size of the business, it could pay for itself in about a year from the money saved by eliminating human cooking.
While some argue it would cost thousands of workers their jobs, others point out the vast increase in technology related jobs and employment created by the need to build them, and maintain and service them. Supporters say this would create more high-paying careers as opposed to minimum-wage food service workers.
Wonder how SEIU would try to unionize the burger bot? Guess they could keep paying people to stand on street corners, wave picket and union signs, and push for wages for jobs that won't exist anymore.