Mezli cooks up automated modular restaurants
The Future. A restaurant startup called Mezli is building modular restaurants that are (mostly) run by a robot staff. The eateries take out the large overhead costs of lunch, letting the company sell meals for much cheaper. Other than building restaurants that can open nearly anywhere, Mezli could become the go-to facilitator of meals on college campuses, where students are looking for fast, healthy food.
The next culinary trend could be freestanding robotic restaurants.
- Founded by Stanford engineering students Alex Kolchinski, Alex Gruebele, Max Perham, and Michelin-star chef Eric Minnich, Mezli builds fully autonomous modular restaurants that are only ten by twenty feet in size.
- The startup focuses on offering quality food for cheap since their costs for “labor, overhead and real estate” are so low.
Mezli’s first location in San Mateo, California, offers Mediterranean-style grain bowls starting at $6.99. And people must like it — 44% of customers have already become repeats.
The founders do admit, though, that the robot servers are currently supplemented by actual human workers.
Drop a restaurant
Mezli has already raised $3 million, which it’s using to build a prototype for a restaurant the company wants to roll out next year. Once ready, the company hopes to build thousands of these modular restaurants for a fraction of a typical restaurant.
Could modular restaurants be the next iteration of the food truck craze?