Chipotle Unveils AI Chippy to Help with Making Chips

ODSC - Open Data Science
3 min readOct 4, 2022

Artificial intelligence is poised to make an impact in a Chipotle near you. Like other restaurant companies that are implementing AI as a means to improve human performance on the ground, the Mexican food-inspired establishment has revealed a series of new technology updates with the goal of scaling. One such update is the tortilla-making robot which will in no time, assist restaurant workers to create fresh tortillas, Chippy, but that’s not all.

Chipotle has also introduced “Chippy” a robot that makes tortilla chips. Chippy will get to jump into restaurant work in the coming weeks in a Fountain Valley, California location. The goal is feedback from both employees and customers to help if Chippy gets siblings in a national roll-out. Like many companies such as Amazon and Walmart, the goal isn’t to replace live human workers but to instead embrace artificial intelligence as a means to enhance workers.

To do this, Chipotle is piloting a demand-based cooking system that uses AI to inform staff when to cook based on forecasts. These forecasts will use information related to the past volume of customers at given points of time & inventory by leveraging machine learning to predict daily needs and providing notifications for workers.

The goal is to not only optimize the entire cooking process but to also minimize food waste while ensuring a manageable workflow. If you’ve worked in fast-food or even small-scale restaurants, then you’ll understand how real a rush can be and the consequences of not being prepared for one. Because of this reality, the system is designed to reduce the burden on employees by optimizing cook times. Currently, the AI program, PreciTaste, is being tested in eight of the company’s Orange County, California locations.

That’s not all. Chipotle is also upgrading current programs such as the Chipotle App by way of the Radius Networks platform. In a new opt-in program, it will remind you to scan rewards, the status of your order, and even if you’ve gone to the wrong pickup location to retrieve your order. This app opt-in program is currently being tested in seventy-three locations in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

Of this, Scott Boatright, Chipotle’s Chief Restaurant Officer stated, “Empowering our restaurants with advanced technologies is critical for operational excellence and better positions our teams for our ambitious growth plans.”Other fast-food brands, such as Domino’s and McDonald’s are also using varying degrees of new technology that utilize artificial intelligence to both improve customer experience and lighten the burden on current employees throughout their shifts.

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