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The expansion of kitchen robotics continues in California, the case of the Bbox cafeteria

Cafeteria Bbox It is a meeting point for students of the renowned School of Public Health University of Berkeley. Young university students from various parts of California (USA) gather there to relieve the stress accumulated by the classes, exchange opinions with their classmates and taste coffee and pastries.

So far everything normal. But since February 2019, the Bbox cafeteria has become part of a small group of catering establishments: that of premises equipped with robotics de kitchen.

It is not the first business of its kind to take the plunge. In the nearby city of San Francisco, the Cafe X attracts passers-by with a robotic arm capable of making excellent coffee in just an instant. The automaton is in sight, protected by a transparent screen that allows you to enjoy the technological spectacle with full security guarantees. Those who have tried it have already been pleasantly surprised.

The Bbox is distinguished from the premises located in San Francisco by the greater complexity of the systems that are in operation. In addition to being able to serve the hot concoction, the robotic set can also accompany the order with the pasta selected by the diner. This requires a level of manipulation, detection and interpretation top available to the Cafe X robotic coffee maker.

In recent months, interest in replacing repetitive work associated with coffee preparation has increased.

The interest aroused by these new technologies is also linked to a trend of greater importance: the adoption of robotics kitchen, waitress and distribution in the business network of the catering sector. This movement is viewed with suspicion by some.

So far everything normal. But since February 2019, the Bbox cafeteria has become part of a small group of catering establishments: that of premises equipped with kitchen robotics.


Returning to the specific case of the Bbox, the reception of the technology has been very positive. Young people can wear a Whatsapp mobile to manage orders. Through this specialized application they have the possibility to choose from a pre-established menu of products the type of coffee they want and add to the order which pastries they want as accompaniment.

Once the order is confirmed, it is the application itself that is responsible for informing customers about how long their order will take to be ready. This frees up staff behind the bar at this university-attached facility. Personnel who are also in better health because they are not subjected to repetitive efforts that can lead to suffering and pain tendinitis (usual cause of withdrawal in US coffee shops, as you well know in Starbucks)

The entire chain of actions is supervised by human workers at the moment. Like many of the prototypes used in robotics kitchen, these are pioneering teams that can still present failures. That is, the robots that participate in this environment are still prototypes in a pilot experience.

So that everything goes smoothly, the manager of the Bbox receives the cafeteria products through a specialized company. This company is Highwire Coffee, a local coffee seed supplier that also offers the hot drink in an environment gourmet. Thanks to the maximum product quality delivered by said professionals, Bev (This is how the robotic coffee machine that operates in the Bbox has been baptized) obtains a first class aromatic ground coffee. This is the first step to obtain an unforgettable final product.

According to an interview by Digital Trends Greg Becker, founder of Nourish, the company responsible for the Bbox cafeteria, «through its service, Bev prepares a recent coffee and satisfies the demands of customers regarding almond milk, lattes, American coffees with ice, orange juice and other mixtures with coffee ».

On the other hand, the second robot that is part of the set installed in Berkeley collaborates so that the order is ready as soon as possible. Becker continues: “In the meantime, [the robot] Jarvis handles requests in the pasta display case and at the delivery point, serving freshly-made pasta brought in from [the bakery]Semifreddi's, and preparing customer orders for the takeaway».

With this system installed in place, The managers of the Bbox have managed to significantly reduce the price of quality coffee. The same coffee served at Highwire Coffee costs less than half in the college cafeteria ($ 1.75). This is achieved by minimizing the financial items allocated to personnel: wages are one of the highest expenses in any catering establishment and by acting directly on them, cuts in wages can be achieved. Prices or increases in profit margins of a very notable entity.

Initial testing with robotics kitchen at Bbox they have gone like silk. In addition to generating interest and causing fascination among regular visitors, they have also managed to retain a good part of the new visitors who have come to the establishment attracted by the benefits of this new disruptive technology.

That being the case, it is no wonder that Becker has plans to augment the automated menu. In the near future, robots could be in charge of serving all the items they have in this place. The ultimate goal would be to scale a chain of restaurants robotic.

Nourish's vision will not be affected by lack of economic liquidity since behind it is the investment firm of the former player of the National Baseball League Ryan HowardSeventySix Capital. Only time will tell if they are successful in their contest.

I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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