The makers of Flippy, the burger flipping robot, have created Flippy Wings, a chicken wing frying robot. While the name — Flippy Wings? Really? — may make us think that the makers are not native speakers of English, the idea sounds great.
Miso Robotics, the maker, has a deal with the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain to supply its Flippy Wings “robotic chicken wing frying solution” to a couple of locations for testing before the complete rollout. Miso says its Flippy Wings gets a 10 – 20% faster throughput and a safer set up. There are fewer spills of hot oil and fewer burns when Flippy Wings Is at the controls.
Flippy Wings deposits the cooked wings into food-safe hot bins for human servers to pick up. Miso suggests that Flippy Wings allows human workers to be deployed in customer-facing roles, providing a better experience for customers. Reducing the number of human workers isn’t part of the plan, at least officially.
Supply chain issues
However, recent supply chain challenges stemming from changes in weather patterns and pandemic effects have made chicken wings very expensive. Restaurants that used to rely on this previously cheap cut of meat are having to rethink their offerings. Faster production and lower labor costs could help.
At the same time, fast food joints in general are facing crippling labor shortages. While there is some controversy on whether it’s a labor shortage or an unwillingness to pay an attractive wage, 78% of owners in a recent survey said that they don’t have enough staff to handle current business.
Miso offers a “robots as a service” system that shields restaurants from the hefty up-front costs of installing automation. They may save wing-based fast food.
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