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Spyce, a Boston-based startup that developed a robotic kitchen, is shutting down its original restaurant location in Boston’s Downtown Crossing on October 22. The company said it has “exciting things in store” at its Harvard Square restaurant, however, which is less than 10 miles away from the original location.
Spyce spun out of MIT in 2015. It builds robots that can prepare meals. And in 2020 it launched its “Infinite Kitchen” that can prepare, it claimed, up to 350 meals per hour and allow for more ingredients to be used in the recipes. Spyce’s new food robot makes both salads and warm bowl food, and holds 49 separate recipes.
The company had raised about $25 million in funding. Spyce was acquired in August 2021 by Sweetgreen, a fast casual restaurant chain that serves salads and other healthier food options, for an undisclosed price. At the time, Sweetgreen said Spyce’s robotic technology would allow its workers to focus more on customer service, expand its menu into warm foods, and make meal preparation more consistent.
At the time of the acquisition, Spyce said its restaurants would stay open. But that philosophy has obviously begun to change. Closing the Downtown Crossing location, Spyce said, will help the company focus more on developing technology for Sweetgreen’s restaurants. Spyce posted the following statement on its Facebook page:
“Since our recent Sweetgreen acquisition, we’ve been working hard each day on our mission to scale healthy food and bring the magic of Spyce to more communities. In the next chapter of this long journey, we’ll be closing our DTX location after evening services on 10/22 to focus on developing technology for sweetgreen restaurants.
“Downtown Crossing will always be a special place to us! We opened our door back in 2018 as a few fresh-faced college grads with an out-there dream to make healthy food more accessible through automation. We were different! But you gave us a shot and for that, we owe you so much.
“Stop by DTX this week to say hello to the amazing team — they are the heart and soul of our company. The team will transition to [Harvard Square] or be offered a position at a Sweetgreen around Boston. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support and we have some exciting things in store for you at Harvard Square! See you around!”