The various endeavors to make a food robot are fascinating, from robots to make coffee and tea, frozen yogurt, burgers, sushi, sandwiches, and the list goes on. But as one notable investor/expert in the food space states “many of the VC-backed hardware devices have not really scaled to success.” What’s the deal with this?
I am sure there is no single simple answer, but as I’ve pondered this situation the more I appreciate the brilliance of our founder, Dr. Deepak Sekar. He decided to build a salad robot. What’s the most common menu item in North America from fast food chains up through the swankiest high end restaurants? Salads. (Full disclosure: our robot also builds breakfast bowls, grain bowls, acai bowls, etc.). As a result of this stroke of genius, we are scaling…a lot. It would take the most aggressive fast food chain 10 years to deploy as may locations as we’ll deploy in the next 3 months (think of our robots as mini salad restaurants).
One of the most fun and interesting challenges that comes with deploying our robots is consumer education. This is a classic case of teaching consumers to change behavior, specifically, to get them to buy fresh healthy food from a robot. We’re always getting better as we try out new ideas but once the consumers catch on, it’s just too cool.
Here’s an example. One obvious feature that comes with our robot is personalization – i.e. build your salad the way you want it. Don’t like croutons on your Cesar salad, delete them. Want carrots on your Caesar Salad, add them. Where the magic really comes in is that when you add and delete ingredients, the nutritional information for your salad updates in real time, right in front of you on the screen. I was at one of our deployments observing customers order salads from our robot and it was amazing to see people build their salads to a nutritional goal (side note: many of these people deleted bacon 😉).
We are doing some amazing work with a fantastic team, and also having a lot of fun. Want to get in on it? We are hiring. We have open positions for sales in ATLANTA, DALLAS, and CHICAGO. For details on these openings and even more open positions, check out our Careers page.