COLUMBUS, Ohio — An autonomous robot is being tested to work at Columbus-based White Castle.
The robot, referred to as Flippy 2, was designed by Miso Robotics and is programmed to work the restaurant's frying station. Flippy 2 is currently being tested inside an Indianapolis White Castle.
Jeff Carper, White Castle's chief operations officer, says this would free up an employee so they can focus on the customers. Carper clarified Flippy 2 was not made to replace workers.
“This is not about replacing team members,” said Carper. “This is about really partnering with team members, and giving them the opportunity to focus on other parts of our business, which is what we really want to do is create memorable moments. And it gives us that opportunity for our team members to really focus in on the interaction with the customer, and really make that more special for them.”
Carper said Flippy 2 also gives workers a chance to learn about robotics. Employees would still need to program cook times and maintain it.
'Flippy' robot being tested at Columbus White Castle
“The amount of work that it takes to manage our fry station from our team members… they had to be very focused, there's a lot of moving parts, different times of different products, different products going in,” said Carper. “We thought, you know, this would be an opportunity to figure out how to ease that pressure from our team members and give them an opportunity to really focus on other parts of the business.”
A timeline for when Flippy 2 would come to central Ohio White Castle locations was not given, but when testing is complete it will be implemented at stores that could accommodate it.
“When you walk into the front counter, you can see Flippy 2 right on the front right of the fry station. So as we continue to expand and look at other locations where this is going to go the customers will be able to see Flippy working,” said Carper.