Panera Brings You Automated Baristas

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Panera Bread is looking at the current landscape and looking at a wide variety of ways to be innovative. These innovations may mean a great deal to each customer. One of the latest innovations by this restaurant brand? Robotic coffee makers!

Let us see what is going on with Panera and how it seeks to be more innovative with its recent investments in automation.

Panera Looks To Automation with Miso Robotics

As Panera bread has doubled downed its drink subscription program, it will be testing the automated coffee Brewing system of Miso Robotics. The thinking here may be that this could be beneficial for the restaurant industry as the worker or labor cost increase day by day; hence, adopting an automated system will be a good choice. Many eateries like Mcdonald’s and California Pizza are also looking forward to an automated system. 

As the automation trend progresses, Miso Robotics is one of the firms gaining popularity with restaurant chains and investors. Last month, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it would be testing a Miso Robot to make tortilla chips. 

More about Miso Robotics

Miso was founded in the year 2016. Since its founding, it has been funded for more than $50 million by multiple restaurants and food chains such as CaliBurger. Mr. Mike Bell, the CEO of Miso Robotics, stated that the biggest aspect is the labor gap  and the need for robotics and automated machines. Hence, Miso robotics has experienced great demand in recent years. 

Among all the other machines Miso has launched, its latest launch, CookRight Coffee, is a unique system that makes just more than an ordinary coffee. It monitors the coffee volume and temperature through AI intelligence and tells which coffee the customers are best enjoying.


A Human Centric Approach 

Panera’s sole goal is to allow employees to spend more time with and helping their customers and cater to their needs. Panera’s chief digital officer explained that they have never viewed the automated system as cost-saving or a method of defense against labor costs.

Experts have also noted about the various potential aspects of automation, specifically around hospitality. For instance, more note that current employees can focus more on the customer instead of the various tasks that are present in creating food/drinks. 

But this makes one wonder how much employees can enhance the customer experience. The typical experience is that the consumer orders the drinks/food and then waits or talks to members of their party while waiting for their order.


Panera Bread and the Subscription

Panera launched its coffee and tea subscription program two years ago at $8.99 per month, successfully attracting customers and understanding more about their breakfast habits. Panera has multiple franchises operating at 1200 locations, while only two are testing the CookRight coffee system. However, Bell is sure that at the end of this year, the installation of this system will increase to thousands or more in number. 

Hanson believes that the restaurant industry is surely curious about the new technology. However, this might be just due to the heavy labor cost. However, this should be the influence of technology, not just the labor cost. 


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