This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Using Biology to
Make Computers Faster


  The Herman Trend Alert

May 30, 2018

High Tech meets Haute Cuisine

Our author Joyce Gioia was in downtown Boston last week and went to what she believes is the future of quick-serve restaurants. The robot-powered start-up grew out of an MBA program for budding entrepreneurs called "delta v".

A high-level alliance
Open for less than a month, the restaurant Spyce is the result of collaboration between four brilliant MIT students and their adviser Michelin-starred Chef Daniel, who has seven restaurants around the globe. As MIT students and water polo teammates, Braden Knight, Luke Schlueter, Michael Farid, and Kale Rogers founded their restaurant out of necessity; they could not find a source for reasonable, nutritious food. As engineers fascinated by the capabilities of robots, they knew there had to be a solution and they created Spyce. They also hired Sam Benson of Café Boulud, as their executive chef.

A diverse menu
The menu features seven bowls with Middle Eastern, Latin, and Asian flavors. We ordered their new Lebanese Bowl and were not disappointed. Next time we are looking forward to ordering the Moroccan Bowl with chick peas and currants. With an emphasis on vegetables, all of the ingredients and garnishes are very fresh and delicious. The diverse menu serves vegans as well as meat-eaters.

Order at a kiosk
Patrons typically wait in a fast-moving line, then order and pay at a kiosk. After ordering, while their names appear on the screen of the robotic wok, customers can watch their own food being prepared to order---until it shows up in a bowl with their names on them. While human cooks prep the ingredients, robot woks cook it then drop it into bowls for other humans to garnish. The woks are self-cleaning after each use.

Sustainable everything
Even the plastic cups and lids are compostable, as are the bowls, plasticware, and napkins. There are no straws in hopes of lessening their impact on the planet. Spyce's robotic kitchen uses 80 percent less water than the average commercial dishwasher. This robotic kitchen is able to serve up to 200 meals each hour; it has seven cooking woks and the total time to complete each meal is three minutes or less.

Spyce embodies the "intersection of technology and hospitality"
With McDonalds already experimenting with robot grill cooks and continuing to serve its unhealthy fare, Spyce lights the way for serving healthy meals while automating order-taking and cooking. We envision lots of applications from college campuses to corporate campuses and anticipate seeing hotel chains eyeing this concept for its reduction in required staff. Expect to see restaurants like Spyce showing up in every major metropolitan area---worldwide in the next three to five years.

For more information about Spyce or to see a video of the robots at work, visit

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