If you’re a doughnut slinger, a robot could be gunning for your job. Krispy Kreme’s CEO announced in an interview with Yahoo Finance earlier this week that the company is eyeing adding robots to its workforce beginning next year in order to fulfil the company’s demand while cutting production times.
“So probably within the next 18 months, you’ll see some automation starting to go into the frosting, the filling, the sprinkles, and even the packaging,” CEO Michael J. Tattersfield told Yahoo Finance reporter Brooke Dipalma. He continued: “We’ve got some pretty big factory stores that do 12,o00 points of access today, which get fresh doughnuts globally. You need to start looking at what the automation capacity of that is, because it is going to the grocers, it is going to the convenience shops. So you’ll start seeing that start to happen next year.”
Gizmodo reached out to Krispy Kreme for clarification on whether these robots will only be rolled out to the company’s factories, or whether customers might see them in storefronts, but the company did not immediately return our request for comment.
Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Krispy Kreme COO and interim CFO Josh Charlesworth said during the company’s Investor Day that there is potential to add robots to both factories and storefronts over the next few years. Charlesworth further explained that Krispy Kreme was testing out automation that could add filling to doughnuts, remove those filled doughnuts from the production line, and place them into a box. The company is allegedly aiming to have 18% of their doughnuts produced with automation.
The fast food world is getting a robotic facelift, and Krispy Kreme is one of many stores that are pivoting toward automation and other tech upgrades. Taco Bell opened up a mobile-order-based takeout-only restaurant concept earlier this summer that would send your food to your car in a tube. Subway also unveiled an AI smart fridge that’s full of pre-made sandwiches.
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