In the heart of Riga, the capital of Latvia, a robot-chef is revolutionizing the restaurant scene at the Roboeatz bistro.
The innovative system was conceived by Konstantins Korcjomkins and Janis Poruks, owners of the fast food chain ‘Woki Toki,’ with the ambitious goal of transforming the culinary industry.
The Roboeatz stands out when a customer places an order for a pasta: the robotic arm automatically activates, transforming into a full-fledged digital chef.
In just five minutes, the dish is ready to be enjoyed, hot and delicious. The venue, located under an ancient concrete bridge, is designed so that customers can watch the robotic chef in action, offering a technological spectacle while experimenting with the future of dining.
The growing preference for takeout, due to the need for a green pass to consume indoors in Latvia, makes Roboeatz a convenient choice for many. Iveta Ratinika, a teacher and education consultant, praised the culinary experience and suggested that the introduction of similar robots could improve the operation of school cafeterias in the coming years.
Roboeatz’s main challenge is to cook on the go. Designed in January 2018, the robot-chef is the result of the entrepreneurial vision of Korcjomkins and Poruks, who seek to optimize the industry by reducing labor costs. However, they assure that the introduction of robots will not lead to increased unemployment, but rather replace low-paying jobs that many people would rather avoid.
The trend of robotic technology in restaurants has gained interest in recent years, with initiatives such as a Parisian restaurant where robots prepare pizzas at an astonishing rate. In the United States, startup Chowbotics has introduced “Sally,” a robot that prepares salads for vending machines. In addition, a British company presented a fully automated kitchen at a considerable price.
Roboeatz, beyond food preparation, aims to improve food safety and eliminate infection risks in crowded kitchens. Its creators claim that the robot could make hundreds of recipes, taking into account consumers’ food preferences and allergies.
While the robotic arm is the least problematic part, according to Korcjomkins, the real challenge is designing an entire kitchen around the robot, including ingredients, spices and cooking utensils.
The project founders estimate that Roboeatz will pay for itself in two years, significantly reducing the labor costs associated with kitchen employees. They claim that compared to an average kitchen employee in the European Union, the robot offers significant savings, with no need for health insurance, sickness or vacation time.
With plans to expand to Canada and the United States, the Riga team will be praying for and programming additional robots.