Chipotle Mexican Grill revealed its latest digital innovation, Chippy, an autonomous kitchen assistant that makes tortilla chips. Chipotle's culinary and technology teams teamed up with Miso Robotics to customize the robotic solution to cook and freshly season Chipotle's tortilla chips.
Leveraging artificial intelligence, Chippy is trained to replicate Chipotle’s exact recipe – using corn masa flour, water and sunflower oil – to cook chips to perfection, season with a dusting of salt, and finish with a hint of fresh lime juice.
Chippy is currently being tested at Chipotle's innovation hub in Irvine, Calif., and will be integrated into a Southern California location later this year. The company is leveraging its stage-gate process to listen, test and learn from crew and guest feedback before deciding on a national implementation strategy.
Enhancing the Employee and Guest Experience
"We are always exploring opportunities to enhance our employee and guest experience. Our goal is to drive efficiencies through collaborative robotics that will enable Chipotle's crew members to focus on other tasks in the restaurant," said Curt Garner, Chief Technology Officer, Chipotle.
Using AI as much as possible to automate mundane or physically difficult tasks, so that staff can focus on the business of true hospitality, and gain real-world experience with cutting-edge technologies, was a theme echoed at MURTEC and in particular the panel, IT Gets Real With AI featuring CKE, Inspire Brands and Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe.
Chipotle's culinary team guided Miso in tailoring its technology to maintain the culinary integrity of the brand.
"Everyone loves finding a chip with a little more salt or an extra hint of lime," said Nevielle Panthaky, Vice President of Culinary, Chipotle. "To ensure we didn't lose the humanity behind our culinary experience, we trained Chippy extensively to ensure the output mirrored our current product, delivering some subtle variations in flavor that our guests expect."