The good news is that you are not going to have to invent the robotic kitchen – four US graduates already have. The better news is that the food served at Spyce is on-trend in terms of a growth strategy to appeal to tomorrow’s consumer.
This four-minute video from YouTube captures the thinking that has gone into making the concept a success. The founders won a $10,000 prize for foodservice innovation in 2016 as they developed a robot kitchen in a bid to make healthy food more affordable. 
They persuaded a two-star Michelin chef, Daniel Boulud to work with them on the consumer launch and the restaurant opened in Boston last year. Less than half a year in the founders raised $21 million from venture capital funds, demonstrating the expected market demand for food prepared this way.

Always something new

Spyce currently offers 26 different bowls of food for $7.50 split into four groups: regular, vegetarian/pescatarian, gluten-free and vegan.
The menu lists the ingredients very clearly and all items can be customised, putting the consumer in control. There is a comprehensive list of allergens for everything that is served.
The owners have an “appropriately sourced” philosophy, which is to get ingredients where it makes the most sense. Massaman Curry Paste has to come from Thailand. Sweet potatoes and kale are grown locally.
There is no beef on the menu because it is not sustainable. “While we are all about flavour, we understand that our choices have an impact on the world around us,” they say.
They do serve freekeh. It is an ancient whole grain with more protein and fibre per serving than quinoa. “Help us get this ingredient the attention it deserves.”

A focus on efficiency

Boulud has been retained as culinary director. While the machines make the food, he taste tests every menu item, trains the staff and pushes to enhance the customer experience. A human checks every dish before it is served to ensure it looks good.
The robotic kitchen does cut jobs but the owners argue that because it is new these jobs did not exist before. It claims to pay its employees well but it needs fewer than a typical quick-service restaurant. If the aim is to make tasty nutritious food affordable, then efficiency is a priority.
The seven robotic woks take three minutes or less to cook every item. They are heated using induction technology that requires less energy than other heating elements. While humans prepare the raw ingredients and load them in the hopper, the process afterwards is handled by machines that monitor cooking, refrigeration and water temperatures and clean and sanitize the woks after every meal.

Ideas for your growth strategy

The robotic kitchen does cut jobs but the owners argue that because it is new these jobs did not exist before. It claims to pay its employees well but it needs fewer than a typical quick-service restaurant. If the aim is to make tasty nutritious food affordable, then efficiency is a priority.
Any business owner can benefit from watching the video and thinking about how to apply the learnings to their operations. 

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