Disclosure: AFN’s parent company, AgFunder, is an investor in Hyphen.
Toast co-founder and president Steve Fredet also participated in the A-Series round along with existing investors, including Apollo Global Management co-founder and CEO Mark Rowan; and Donald Moore, former chief culinary director Cheese factory.
The startup from San Jose previously raised $ 7 million from investors, including AgFunder in August 2020
Hyphen’s robotic system, simply called Makeline, takes the place of conventional melons: conveyors for assembling kitchens in restaurants that allow catering teams to quickly and collaboratively prepare foods such as pizza, burritos and substances.
Makeline consists of two parts: the top, where people manually prepare orders, and the bottom, which automates the assembly of bowls, salads and similar items. The latter is specifically designed to fulfill digital orders placed through the restaurant’s website or app, or through third-party delivery services.
Using sensors, The Makeline uses artificial intelligence-based vision to monitor batch quality, accuracy and order size. The system also monitors the inventory of ingredients “to the gram”, – says Hyphen co-founder and CEO Stephen Klein AFN. When the ingredient runs out, The Makeline warns the kitchen so the employee can fill the tray.
Hyphen claims that its machines can cook 350 dishes every hour with an order accuracy of 99.9%.
Robots also take sick leave
It’s hard to exaggerate difficulties restaurants have faced over the past couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lock, partial closure and capacity limitation took economic gifts for the whole industry. In the US, staff shortages are struggling to keep up with orders, especially when it comes to juggling domestic orders with an increase in the number of those placed through digital channels.
Since the pandemic began, restaurant technology companies have promised to help address the aforementioned issues, using buzzwords such as “automation,” “efficiency,” and “rationalization” to describe what their products can do for commercial kitchens. The results were variedand restaurants are less likely to make a decision if it can’t provide immediate value to industries where profits are like a razor – even on a good day.
Klein says Hyphen has not received any refusals from restaurants about adopting his system, which he says is “not a pleasant to have, but a necessity.”
The most important advantage of the Hyphen solution over others, according to Klein, is that it is half automated, half manual. Even if part of The Makeline’s robot fails, employees can still use the system.
Klein compares it to an escalator that still works like a ladder when a problem arises and stops.
“Robots take hospital breaks, they fall,” he says. “That’s why it’s important to have protective protection.”
Klein also claims the advantages that Hyphen’s automated setup has over systems that rely on hinged robotic arms, which are expensive and tend to take up more space than most restaurants. He believes that to get the bandwidth of one Hyphen machine will need 16 robotic arms and the space of a small apartment.
Finally, because The Makeline system tracks ingredients and shares data on how much and when to cook, restaurants can potentially cut food waste from inaccurate orders and excessive servings.
“One thing that is often ignored is the cost of food,” Klein says, adding that they are rising because of inflation. McLain “Can make sure there will be less food waste because [the] the line chef prepares the right amount of food at the right time, ”he adds.
Hyphen will use Serie A funding to enter new U.S. markets including Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Phoenix. He will also invest in R&D to further product development and in hiring new staff in design, engineering and operation.
Without naming names, Klein says Hyphen’s customer base mostly consists of salad chains and other restaurants that sell bowl-style dishes. The company also has on its customer list “a packer that makes prepackaged salads for a very large product” as well as corporate catering, he adds.
https://agfundernews.com/hyphen-raises-24m-series-a-to-automate-the-restaurant-makeline Hyphen is raising $ 24 million for restaurant automation