Lunchtime favorite Sweetgreen might be getting a robot or 2. The salad chain just purchased Spyce — a restaurant startup known for its automated kitchen — for an unknown sum, per CNBC.
A tale of 2 salad spinners
Both fast-casual eateries specialize in salads and bowls, but Sweetgreen is a salad behemoth.
- Sweetgreen has grown to 130+ US locations since launching in DC in 2007. It’s currently valued at ~$1.8B and filed for its IPO in June.
- Spyce has 2 locations in Boston and has raised $24.9m.
But Spyce also has robots
Spyce was founded by a group of MIT students in 2015. It uses recipes from acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud, though the cooking process has always been automated.
- An earlier iteration used rotating woks that tumbled and cooked ingredients. Human employees then added toppings and garnishes.
- Now, Spyce uses an “Infinite Kitchen” that sears, steams, and assembles meals by itself in ~2-3 minutes — a plus as customers seek contact-free options amid the pandemic.
Allie Weinstock, Sweetgreen’s PR and communications manager, called the acquisition an “investment in our future.” For now, Sweetgreen is focusing on updating Spyce’s tech and developing a new product and concept that will work with Sweetgreen as it scales.
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