Cali Burgers

United States

Caliburger adds pay-with-face option amid COVID-19

Fast Casual

CaliBurger is adding a variety of tools to its Pasadena, California, restaurant to help fight the spread of viruses like COVID-19, according to a press release from its parent company, Cali Group.

“Cali Group is focusing its resources on new tools for the restaurant and retail industries to survive the current crisis,” John Miller, chairman of Cali Group said in the releas. “Our portfolio of companies offer various solutions for food production, delivery, take out, and drive-thru.”

The new measures include entry screening, contactless payment and kitchen automation.

Entry Screening
When the store is open for take-out and delivery, devices attached to the doors will measure the body temperatures of restaurant staff, delivery drivers and guests. All people seeking to enter the building must have their faces scanned by the devices. If the sensor detects a person with a fever, the person will not be allowed to go into the restaurant.

During the hours when the store is not open for take out and delivery, restaurant staff can also opt to use the facial recognition system built into the device at the same moment as the fever scan to unlock the door in a single step, instead of doing the fever scan and then also needing to use a key card as a second step. While the initial use case will be for CaliBurger, the technology could be applied to other buildings such as retail stores, offices, and homes to enhance health and safety.

Wider adoption of this system could serve to identify hot spots and spikes in the spread of COVID-19 and other transmissible viruses, according to the release.

Contactless ordering and payment
The restaurant will not accept cash or credit cards as both forms of payment may enable transfer of pathogens, according to the release. Guests who want to pay on site can register for PopPay, a face pay service, at New payment terminals are being installed so guests can use PopPay without any contact with a touch panel. Guests can also order and pay using PopPay on the CaliBurger web site.

Kitchen automation.
AI-driven robots made by Miso Robotics will be cooking in the kitchen. This will reduce the amount of human contact with the food being prepared. CaliBurger has demonstrated that Flippy can be used to reliably automate both the grill station and fry station, resulting in less employee turnover, increased productivity, and greater food consistency. Autonomous cooking continues to rise as a sought-after capability in restaurants in the wake of COVID-19.

“Miso’s platform is a path to substantially reduce pathogen contamination in food,” Buck Jordan, CEO of Miso Robotics said in the release. “By automating tasks such as frying and grilling, Flippy can give operators and consumers confidence that their food is being prepared in a more sterile environment.”

The launch of of these technologies was driven by the recommendations of health and government officials in charge of COVID-19 containment for LA county business operations. CaliBurger intends to implement these technologies in all of its restaurants.

The chain has nearly 40 units all over the world.

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