Robots have been moving from food processing to food service, and the novel coronavirus crisis has increased interest in fast and safe food handling and preparation. Saladworks LLC today announced that, as part of its partnership with Chowbotics Inc., it will offer its fresh foods through the Sally robot to hospitals, universities, grocery stores, and more locations.
Conshohocken, Pa.-based Saladworks was founded in 1986 and claims to be a leading fast-casual, create-your-own salad chain, with more than 100 locations across 18 states and two countries.
Hayward, Calif.-based Chowbotics offers customizable, food bowls with the Sally robot. It said that Sally enables food-service chains to meet the demand for safe, self-serve meals with customizable bowls made around the clock.
Saladworks and Sally to provide convenient, fresh meals
Working in a 3’x3’ space, Sally uses precision robotics to assemble customizable salads from up to 22 ingredients. They are then sealed for safety and freshness in an airtight refrigerated container.
Users can select from Saladworks’ chef-crafted menu or build their own bowls with their favorite ingredients. Each selection is accompanied by instant nutritional information, making it possible to compose a meal for unique dietary goals or needs, said the company.
With Saladworks’ menu and Sally’s placement in a variety of locations, the companies said they offer a healthy alternative to fast food, as well as a better dining experience.
“It is our mission at Saladworks to be original in everything we do, and this partnership with Chowbotics to offer a unique version of Sally the Robot certainly takes our brand to the next level,” said Kelly Roddy, CEO of Saladworks. “We are excited to bring our healthy and delicious salads to all kinds of new guests across hospitals, universities, and beyond. The possibilities are endless.”
Beyond brand recognition and menu expertise, food-service operators who purchase the Saladworks-branded robot will also receive the company’s operational and training support. They can also benefit from its loyalty program integration and its website, which displays consumer-facing menu information and nutritional data, said Saladworks.
Chowbotics addresses coronavirus demand
The partnership between Saladworks and Chowbotics partnership comes amid heightened demand for fresh meals and minimal human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chowbotics said it has already deployed more than 100 robots that have served over 185,000 meals to date.
“We’re excited to partner with a brand that has been so successful at leading the way in health-forward menu development,” stated Rick Wilmer, CEO of Chowbotics. “Together, we’re opening up new revenue streams for foodservice providers looking to expand their footprint, at a fraction of the cost needed to open a new restaurant location.”