Flipping Out over Flippy 2 Robotics

August 11, 2022
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Additional growth means additional employees., but in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and what the media coined "the great resignation," it is more challenging than ever to keep restaurants fully staffed. Guests are coming back to dine, but staff struggles to keep up.

Partnering with Miso Robotics, Wings and Rings recently introduced Flippy 2 artificial intelligence into the kitchen of one of the company's busiest locations to help combat the workforce shortage.

According to Miso, Flippy 2 preps food twice as fast and produces 30% more throughput than its human counterpart. The technology employs cameras to drive machine learning around the visual characteristics to recognize raw product from finished product, and the restaurant is finding the machine delivers on the recipe exactly as it was intended.

How do guests feel about an intelligent robot in the kitchen? Customers say, "'I'll be back".

While initially the company introduced robotics into the kitchen to assist staffing shortages, the team soon discovered an additional benefit- consistency. Working with Miso, Wings and Rings programmed the machine to produce top-quality menu items without distraction and without the unnecessary steps it would take a human counterpart. The result? "Only the highest quality product goes through our kitchen," says Bafundo. "The robotics do a great job of delivering the product exactly the way it was intended to be delivered when the chef created the recipes."

Teamwork Plays Out on the Field and in the Kitchen

Teaming up with Miso was a large part of the initiative's success. With a team of engineers from large restaurant chains throughout the industry, Miso understood the restaurant's needs and was very aggressive in customizing their base unit to Wings and Rings' products and menu.

The restaurant has traditionally looked for partners with shared values who are in it for the long-haul. "We take a more long-term focus on the business," says Bafundo, adding, "It's a marathon, not a sprint."

The integration of Flippy 2 was an eighteen-month project timeline. Bringing a project of this scale to fruition is dependent on finding the night partnership. Working with a team that shares the same values is imperative lo reaching the same end goal easily.

The technology was in place, the business development team was pleased, but how would existing restaurant employees take to their new "colleague?"

Says Bafundo, "We have great employees that we want to keep and help develop within the organization. At first, we were concerned people would view this as 'Flippy is here to take my job' and start looking for work elsewhere,"

Fortunately for Wings and Rings, the team has been quite open and excited about the technology, and has assisted in its success. Flippy 2 gives employees a sneak peek into the future of the restaurant industry. Additionally, it has empowered the employees to become involved in the process and offer feedback to the Miso team on how to improve Flippy's performance to best assist them.

Not only has the restaurant found Al improves consistency .and execution of menu items, it frees up the employees to focus on the most important business of all - guest services.