On The Job: Perfecting The Pizza

Arriving at Creator, a new restaurant located on the ground floor of an office building on downtown San Francisco’s Folsom Street, feels like walking into a catalog. Sleek, wooden communal tables with high white stools line one end of the room, with a bookshelf full of hand-picked culinary books against the wall and modern light fixtures overhead. On the other end, however, two large machines each the size of a small car form a 90-degree angle around a center counter, giving the whole space a retro-futurist aesthetic. It’s what you would have imagined a restaurant eventually looking like if you watched a lot of The Jetsons.

Those machines, with large transparent glass casings and ingredients in cylindrical tubes, are Creator’s burger-making robots. Each 14-foot device contains around 350 sensors and 20 microcomputers to produce the best, freshest, locally sourced cheeseburger that $6 can get you in America’s most expensive city. After trying the first one out of the machine that day, I can confidently say the claim holds up; it’s the best-tasting burger for the money I’ve ever had. The machine is also capable of making multiple kinds of burgers, with vastly different flavor, ingredient, and condiment combinations. In a way, it feels like the future of fast casual food.

“We wanted to design a device that meets nature where it is, and not make food conform to a robot,” CEO Alex Vardakostas tells The Verge in an interview. “We didn’t want something that would make one kind of burger. We look at this like a platform for recipes, and we wanted as much culinary creativity as possible.” Right now, Creator is only taking reservations for 30-minute lunchtime slots on Wednesdays and Thursdays through the month of July, and plans to do the same in August while it irons out kinks and improves its software and workflow. But, eventually, Vardakostas says you’ll be able to order takeout using the company’s mobile app, while workers with iPhones will stroll around the restaurant to take eat-in orders, just like an Apple Store.

Photo by Albert Law for Eater

Source : https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/11/17550848/future-of-dining-automation-robotics-creator-sf-robot-burgers-ai

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