Chipotle is testing a tortilla chip robot and its name is Chippy
“Everyone loves finding a chip with a little more salt or an extra hint of lime. We trained Chippy extensively to ensure the output mirrored our current product, delivering some subtle variations in flavor that our guests expect.”
Nevielle Panthaky, VP of culinary and menu development, Chipotle
Chipotle is testing a robot that can autonomously make tortilla chips. Its name? Chippy. Chippy! Are you kidding me?! This is the best news I’ve heard since I found out that White Castle has a burger-flipping robot named… wait for it… Flippy. There’s also a beverage dispenser in development that’s named Sippy. What’s next, a guacamole-maker named Dippy? A specialized immersion blender named Whippy? A chicken strip robot named Strippy? Peanut butter named, God forbid, Skippy?
Time to get a grippy, the ippy-fication of back-of-house automation is upon us whether you like it or not, and a company called Miso Robotics is to blame.
Yippee! Chippy! — The Pasadena-based robotics startup partnered with Chipotle to make an “autonomous kitchen assistant” that uses machine learning to cook and season chips to salty, limey perfection.
Chippy is currently being tested at the Chipotle Cultivate Center in Irvine, California. On Wednesday, the chain announced that it will bring Chippy to a Southern California location later this year. If all goes well, Chipotle could roll out Chippy nationwide.
“Everyone loves finding a chip with a little more salt or an extra hint of lime,” said Nevielle Panthaky, vice president of culinary and menu development at 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.”
The robots aren’t cheap: previous devices from Miso Robotics have put restaurants back $3000 per month. But it’s not the first ambitious tech expenditure from Chipotle. In March 2020, the fast-casual chain invested in autonomous delivery vehicle start-up Nuro.
Overall, restaurant innovation is the subject of great investment and scholorshippy, and restaurants dippy (I’m sorry) their toes into the hope to equippy themselves with the tools to succeed — and to outstrippy the competition.